Research: Spectacular but wrong?

"Cold" nuclear fusion in a test tube, "highly potent" homeopathic substances that control the immune system and "alien bacteria" which build arsenic into their genetic substance - two things unite these scientific results: they are spectacular and probably wrong. It was not possible for third parties to reproduce these results, even though reproducibility is the almost important thing in the natural sciences. The topic is currently being discussed with particular vigour in neuroscience research, where there talk already about a "reproducibility crisis" in the meantime. Neuroscientists are now meeting in Berlin to find a way out of this crisis. "To strengthen trust in scientific results, the specialised cognitive process must be reliable, transparent and comprehensible," says Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel, President of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), which is co-organising the symposium along with the QUEST Center for Transforming Biomedical Research.

The symposium, which is to be held in English, has been scheduled for 6 July 2018 within the scope of the FENS Forum of Neuroscience, the biggest conference of neurosciences in Europe. The symposium is being organised by the German Center for the Protection of Laboratory Animals (Bf3R) and the QUEST Center for Transforming Biomedical Research of the Berlin Institute of Health. The topics will include the question of the significance of reproducibility (Professor Dr. Ulrich Dirnagl, QUEST), the repeatability of images from the brain (Professor Dr. John-Dylan Haynes, Charité) and the financing of studies which reproduce results in the neurosciences (Professor Dr. Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg, German Research Foundation). The venue is the "Holzlaube" at Freie Universität Berlin, Rooms 2.2058 and 2.2059, Fabeckstrasse 23 - 25, 14195 Berlin. Admission is free, registration under

About the BfR

The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientifically independent institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in Germany. It advises the Federal Government and Federal Laender on questions of food, chemical and product safety. The BfR conducts its own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.

The BfR is 15 years old. To mark the occasion, the Institute has published a jubilee brochure which can be downloaded or ordered free of charge at /en/brochures-61045.html.

This text version is a translation of the original German text which is the only legally binding version.


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