Does condensed matter physics need to worry about a replication crisis?

The workshop took place March 2, 2023. The videos are available below.

During the last decade, the social and biomedical sciences have been grappling with a “replication crisis,” in which a large fraction of published results cannot be verified or reproduced. The causes and solutions to this replication crisis are still not entirely clear, but generally its roots involve publication bias, the predominance of trendy research narratives, and unreliable or fraudulent manipulation of data.

Condensed matter physics, as a field, has largely been considered immune to replication crises by its practitioners, since its experiments tend to be data-rich as compared to those in the social or biomedical sciences. But many of the same root problems are also prevalent in condensed matter, so it is both reasonable and timely to consider the questions: do we need to worry about a replication crisis coming for us? Is it already here?

In this short workshop we will review the replication crisis as it has arisen in the social and medical sciences, then consider a few case studies of prominent recent results in condensed matter that have proven unreliable, and close with a panel discussion.


What is a replication crisis and how do I know if I'm in one? Lessons from Psychology

Simine Vazire (University of Melbourne)

Extracting data from scientific publications

James Hamlin (University of Florida)

Non reproducible claims in Majorana research

Vincent Mourik (Forschungszentrum Jülich)

panel discussion

Panelists: - David Muller (Cornell University) - Igor Mazin (George Mason University) - Jessica Thomas (Physical Review) - Eugenie Reich (Pollock Cohen LLP) - Laurens Molenkamp (University of Würzburg)

Satellite talks

Room-temperature superconductivity - or not?

Dirk van der Marel, University of Geneva

Hysteretic Supercurrents and Zero-bias Peaks in Semiconductor Nanowire Devices with Micromagnets

Yifan Jiang, University of Pittsburgh

Illusive Many-Body Localization

Anatoli Polkovnikov, Boston University

Chiral Majorana Modes in Quantum Anomalous Hall Insulators

Morteza Kayyalha, Penn State University

Erroneous Statistics in Physical Review Physics Education Research

Michael B. Weissman, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Supercurrent interference in few mode nanowire Josephson junctions

Kun Zuo, University of Sydney