NanoBubbles: how, when and why does science fail to correct itself?

2021 until 2026
Project member(s)
Dr W. Halffman (Willem) , Raphaël Lévy , Cyril Labbé , Cyrus Mody , YJ Erden , Marianne Noël , Guillaume Cabanac , Frédérique Bordignon , François Portet , Zoé Toure , Federico Boem , Candida Sanchez Burmester , Stefan Gaillard , Ali Raisi , Nathanne Rost , Maximilian Roßmann , Maud Bernisson , Auste Valinciute , Sanda Hachana , Wytske Hepkema , Amira Barhoumi , Martin Lentschat , Maha Said
Project type

NanoBubbles investigates why correcting errors in scientific literature is sometimes difficult and is met with a lot of resistance. To this end, we analyse the actual practice of correcting errors in research. We do this partly by investigating what happens when members of our own project participate in correction attempts in their field.

Our central object of study is nanobiology, in which considerable discussions have arisen in recent years about some high-strung expectations. Critics who question the technical feasibility of some claims in nanobiology often face significant resistance. This concerns, for example, claims that some nanoparticles could easily intervene in the molecular housekeeping of cells, with possible medical applications. In addition to sociologists of science and humanities, the team therefore also includes nanobiologists who critically analyse or even try to replicate published articles.

Meanwhile, interesting developments are also taking place in the world of scientific communication in general, which aim to facilitate discussion between scientists. For example, scientists are increasingly using Twitter, or it has become easier to comment on articles that have already been published via platforms such as PubPeer. These developments also raise new questions about possible disadvantages, or about the need for new standards of behaviour on these forums. These are questions that extend beyond nanobiology alone.

The ultimate goal of our project is simple: to make a small contribution in making science even better.


An online presentation about our project: 


European Research Council (ERC Synergy grant)


Universities: Maastricht, Sorbonne Paris Nord, Grenoble-Alpes, Radboud, Twente, Gustave-Eiffel, Toulouse and École des Ponts.

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