When Experiments Don’t Work: Student Experiences of Irreproducibility

Join the Department of Humanities for a guest lecture featuring Nicole C. Nelson, an associate professor of science and technology studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This event will be held on Tuesday, February 4, from 12 to 1:30 p.m. in the Hermann Hall Crown Room, located on the first floor.

When an experiment doesn’t go as planned, the reason is often unclear: Did the experimenter do something wrong? Is the equipment malfunctioning? Or are the results correct, even if they are unexpected? Deciding how to interpret the results of an experiment that produces something unexpected is a social process as much as a scientific one. This talk will focus on the experiences of undergraduate¬†and graduate students who have experienced a “failure to replicate” in their own research, and how power and gender dynamics shape their interpretations of their experiences.