Scientists should report results with intellectual humility. Here’s how

In the children’s chapter book series Zoey and Sassafras, which my own two kids adore, young Zoey has to work out how to save magical creatures with mysterious injuries and ailments. Zoey’s scientist mother teaches her the basics of running an experiment: Observe, hypothesize, test and conclude. Throughout the series, Zoey learns that failed experiments, while disappointing, are simply part of the scientific process.

Schoolteachers similarly encourage most budding scientists to be open to making mistakes and refining ideas — to be like Zoey. In theory, then, this humble thinking should remain foundational as students become established scientists. Yet, in an October 28 commentary in Nature Human Behaviour, psychologists

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