Skip Main Navigation
Page Content
This event has ended

Save This Event

Event Saved

Developing Critical Appraisal Skills - A NECTAR Masterclass with Prof James Coyne

ANU NECTAR The Network of Early Career Teachers, Academics and Researchers of The Australian National University

Wednesday, 21 October 2015 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (AEDT)

Ticket Information

Type Remaining End Quantity
General Admission 14 Tickets Ended Free  

Share Developing Critical Appraisal Skills - A NECTAR Masterclass with Prof James Coyne

Event Details


“Mostpositive findings are false or exaggerated: developing critical appraisal skills and becoming a responsible, engaged scientist”

A NECTAR-supported Early Career Academic Masterclass with Prof James Coyne



Workshop Background & Purpose

Academics are under enormous pressure to publish in the highest impact journals possible and to be publicly engaged so that their work reaches the widest possible audiences.Yet, perverse incentives to publish today are corrupting the scientific literature and the media thatcovers it.Scientific journals committed to achieving the highest impact factors requires that papers that are newsworthy and immediately attention gathering. Solid science does not necessarily meet these criteria,and getting published too often requires sacrificing robustness and trustworthiness.It is no accident that the highest impact journals have the highest rate of retractions, despite strong barriers to retracting patently bad science.

This workshop will provide the tools for you to see for yourself that many positive findings of false, and many breakthrough discoveries ultimately prove exaggerated or irreproducible. Shortcomings in the scientific literature are amplified in media representations,but much badly reported science in the media can be traced to the excesses of scientists and the university-generated press releases. You will learn how to quickly screen scientific papers and their press coverage and detect bad science.

Workshop Objectives

  • To document that much of the scientific literature and the media that reports it areunreliable.
  • To cultivate participants’ critical skills to detect bad science and bad reporting.
  • To develop participants’ability to produce and publish responsible,quality research despite perverse incentives encouraging bad research practices and disincentives for good practices.
  • To develop participants’ ability to engage journalists and the media and to encourage responsible reporting of their work.
  • To enlist participants as activists in the fight against bad science and bad media representations of science.

Workshop Methods

  • Didactic presentation and Q&A session (90 minutes)
  • Specific interactive modules for randomized trials,meta-analyses,and policy-oriented correlational epidemiologicalstudies. (90minutes)
  • Group projects applying critical appraisal skills and feedback.(60 minutes)
  • Interactive reporting of group projects (60 minutes)
  • Participants providing the instructor with examples from the literature and media which he will use to demonstrate curbside, rapid assessment techniques.(60minutes)


About the Workshop Leader

James C. Coyne is Professor Emeritus of Psychology in Psychiatry at University of Pennsylvania and former SeniorFellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, as well as Professor of Health Psychology at University of Groningen,the Netherlands. Dr.Coyne is als oa blogger at Science-Based Medicine and PLOS Mindthe Brain( where he sometimes takes editors of high impact journals to task for poor editorial decisions, confirmatory bias and other actions that put bad evidence into the literature.


This event is proudly bought to you by NECTAR. For further information, you can contact the NECTAR Coordinator via email:


What is NECTAR?

NECTAR is an independent space created by, and for, Early Career Academics at ANU. 

It is a direct channel of communication between ECA and the University Executive, effecting changes that ensure ANU continues to be an attractive workplace for early career academics. NECTAR provides space and resources with which to develop ideas, build confidence in leadership, develop cross-college networks, and acquire skills and knowledge required to lead each other and ANU towards a successful teaching and research future.

Since its inception in 2011, NECTAR has united ECAs across all colleges of ANU. We have established a program of grant application support, engaged in public debate with Radio National and the Australian Council of Learned Academies and raised the profile of ECAs through participation in University committees. 

The changes we make next are up to you.

Keep in touch with NECTAR:

Twitter: @NECTARatANU



Have questions about Developing Critical Appraisal Skills - A NECTAR Masterclass with Prof James Coyne? Contact ANU NECTAR The Network of Early Career Teachers, Academics and Researchers of The Australian National University

Interested in hosting your own event?

Join millions of people on Eventbrite.

Please log in or sign up

In order to purchase these tickets in installments, you'll need an Eventbrite account. Log in or sign up for a free account to continue.