Loading Events

  • This event has passed.

Professor Robert MacCoun will present a talk on “Coping with Rapidly Changing Standards and Practices in the Empirical Sciences (Including ELS)”. Professor MacCoun has done fascinating empirical work in various areas of public policy. Among many other publications, he has published in Nature with Nobel laureate Saul Perlmutter.

The talk will explore how a convergence of many developments is producing rapid changes in the norms and expectations for empirical research in the social, behavioral, and biomedical sciences. Many large-scale replication efforts have raised questions about the stability of published empirical findings. New forensic statistical methods show that research fraud, “p-hacking” (methods to tweak the data to achieve statistical significance), and selective publication (in which investigators only report the approaches that “worked”) are far more common than anyone had imagined. With crisis comes opportunity, and we are witnessing the rapid development of new norms and practices for empirical research. Prof. MacCoun will discuss pre-registration, open data sharing, blind data analysis, and other methods, as well as the need to reform the way we evaluate and reward empirical scholarship.

Lunch will be served.

The Harvard Empirical Legal Studies (HELS) series explores a range of empirical methods, both qualitative and quantitative, and their application in legal scholarship in different areas of the law. It is a platform for engaging with current empirical research, hearing from leading scholars working in a variety of fields, and developing empirical projects.

The group is open to all interested students and scholars. No prior background in empirical legal research is necessary. Please RSVP to echachko@sjd.law.harvard.edu.

Email Elena to be added to the mailing list.


November 13, 2017
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Event Categories:


Elena Chachko
Graduate Program


WCC 3019