Second Order Science is the application of the scientific method to the process of doing science itself.  It calls on scientists to ask questions about what they are doing, why, and the assumptions upon which those choices are being made.

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The Second Order Science Foundation is actively seeking Fellows and Research Fellows to support our work and to join in our intellectual labors.  Biographies of present Foundation Fellows and Research Fellows can be found by clicking below.

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Our team has published extensively on the ideas of second order science, reflectivity in science, the dangers of simplicity, how to mitigate against sloppy science, the need for greater curation in the academic publication process and more.

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The Second Order Foundation has teamed with She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation to edit a special issue on Redesigning the process of scientific research in the AI era to mitigate against sloppy science, error, and fraud.

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The Need for Reflectivity in the Process of Science

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Not Enough "WHY This CHOICE?" Questions are Asked with Documented Answers 

Being reflective helps scientists identify their own biases, assumptions, and worldviews that may unconsciously shape how they form hypotheses, design studies, and interpret results. Reflectivity also promotes epistemic humility about the limits and uncertainties inherent in scientific knowledge claims, counteracting the tendency for science to sometimes present itself as the sole arbiter of truth. It helps curb overly positivist stances that what is observable and measurable is all that matters.

The Many Dangers of Sloppy Science

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When scientists cut corners, rely on poor study design or analysis, fail to accurately report and interpret findings, or make exaggerated claims, it erodes public trust and skepticism grows around real and sound science.
Sloppy science can lead down problematic paths like relying on single studies instead of considering the full body of research, or legitimizing preliminary findings as conclusive facts thereby perpetuating false or misleading information through news, social media and public campaigns.

Sharing the Knowledge

Building Insights

Fellows of the Second Order Science Foundation have written extensively about  reflectivity in scientific practuce and the need for greater curation in science publications.

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Breaking Boundaries

A principal focus of the Second Order Science Foundation is to help mitigate against the ever increasing proliferation of Sloppy Science -- where rigor has been lost.

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Implementing Ideas

Current Second Order Science Foundation project include: Sloppy Science, Improving Curation in Academic Publishing, and Increasing Health Consumer Agency.

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