8. Why Civility Matters in the Replicability Discourse

I have to admit: I am more than a bit nervous to write this post. Many “big” events have transpired within the last week of the ongoing discourse regarding replicability in psychological science, and the resulting exchanges on Twitter, Facebook, and the blogosphere have seemed incredibly heated and personal. Most centrally, the widely-discussed (and embargo-leaked) commentary critiquing the Reproducibility Project was released in Science:

Only to be rapidly responded to with–err, preceded by–thoughtful critiques of the critique (and even critiques of the critiques of the critique) by the Reproducibility Project, and many others:

In the midst of all of the online activity, I have seen some pretty ugly behaviour, from one-off snide comments, to elaborate flame wars, including (but not limited to): name-calling, mean-spirited poetry, attempts to shame individuals from participating in the discourse, and appeals to authority intending to silence critical discussion. This is not the level of “scientific”communication that our discipline deserves–least of all now. And I felt like I needed to blog about this recent trend in online communication about replicability, because I actually feel hurt for many of the individuals involved, many of whom I hardly know at all. Continue reading