If it hasn't been replicated it's probably not worth much

Eric Taylor from General Mills just sent me this great article from the New York Times on the self-correcting nature of science - or more correctly on how many ’scientists’ are reluctant to take part in the necessary work to discover truth and correct mistakes.

It’s great to see these discussions happening in a major paper like the NYT.

In our discipline, sadly, too many marketing scientists who think very highly of themselves have made little more than a journalistic contribution.  What I mean is that their many articles in top journals might make interesting reading (OK "interesting" is a bit of an odd word, but you know what I mean) but there is little contribution to pushing marketing knowledge ahead because: 

(a) their findings have yet to be replicated, so we don't even know if any are trustworthy, let alone know anything about the generalisability of the results so practically speaking they aren’t much use.

b) they haven't replicated anyone else's work.

The simplest surest way someone can advance knowledge is to replicate/extend a prior study.  You'd think it was standard practice for anyone embarking on a research degree.

And you’d think professors would be pleading for their graduate students, and other academics, to critique, replicate and test their findings in different conditions.