Gene Clicker

An Interactive Tutorial On The Dynamics of Science


  1. Game: The Problem of the Base Rate
  2. Tutorial: Base Rate
  3. Game: The Power of Replication
  4. Tutorial: Replication
  5. Game: What Price Replication?
  6. Tutorial: Science Is Hard
  7. Game: Play Time

This interactive tutorial is about how far hypothesis testing can get us towards determining whether a hypothesis is, in fact, true. The tutorial is a companion piece to our paper, Replication, Communication, and the Population Dynamics of Scientific Discovery. That paper presents a mathematical model of the dynamics of science, simplified as an iterative cycle involving hypothesis selection, investigation, and communication of results. Here, a version of that model is implemented as a series of interactive games where you play the role of the scientist.

The goal is to help explain the full model, piece by piece. The model of science explored here is an oversimplification of the scientific process. This simplification allows the model to address focused questions about the evidential value of research as it emerges from the joint dynamics of hypothesis generation, replication, and communication. This should therefore be viewed as simply one (important) piece of a complicated puzzle. Enjoy!


This tutorial was created by Paul Smaldino, based on a model of scientific dynamics by Richard McElreath and Paul Smaldino.