The ‘end of the expert’: why science needs to be above criticism
In 1942, Robert Merton wrote that “Incipient and actual attacks upon the integrity of science” meant that science needed to “restate its objectives, seek out its rationale”. Some 77 years later we are similarly in an environment where “the people of this country have had enough of experts". It is essential that science is able to withstand rigorous scrutiny to avoid being dismissed, pilloried or ignored. Transparency and reproducibility in the scientific process is a mechanism to meet this challenge and good research data management is a fundamental factor in this.