Escaping the (nano)bubble: the role of replication in scientific controversies

In partnership with the Université Paris Cité, the NanoBubbles project is organising a symposium entitled Escaping the (nano)bubble: the role of replications in scientific controversies. The event will take place on 8, 9 and 10 November at Université Paris Cité (Amphithéâtre 4 – 160 rue de Vaugirard, 75015 Paris).

Scan the QR code below or click here to register BEFORE 31 OCTOBER!


Zoé Toure, NanoBubbles project manager, is in charge of the organisational and logistical aspects of the event, while project members Candida Sanchez Burmester and Maha Said are in charge of the scientific side of the symposium. They describe the symposium as follows:

A space for an interdisciplinary exchange about replications. This 3-day symposium is aimed at stimulating informal discussions on replications and unresolved questions about nanoparticles inside cells. We will combine talks of scientists who have engaged in research in nanobiology namely on nanoparticle entry into the cell (described below), with talks by researchers who have studied replications from a historical, philosophical, sociological, or anthropological perspective. Our goal is to create a space for an interdisciplinary exchange about replications of results whose credibility has been questioned.

Replications, a tool of scientific progress? A claim becomes credible if the scientific community thoroughly examines it, for example, by reviewing, critiquing, extending and reproducing the supportive evidence (Munafò et al., 2017¹). Even though the results of replication efforts often remain unpublished, they have the potential to indicate gaps that would be important to fill to verify or falsify prominent claims; they can provide crucial evidence which can be a turning point in an ongoing controversy; and they can contribute to the correction of the scientific record by pointing at studies with inconsistent results. Thus, in principle, replications could help a scientific community to assess certain claims and collectively move on with a specific research topic.

A nanobiology controversy. In nanobiology, some claims have been challenged by different research groups, but continue to circulate in the community. For example, for over a decade there have been disagreements as to how nanoparticles enter mammalian cells. The main mechanism is a phenomenon called endocytosis where nanoparticles end up inside cells but sequestered in bag-like structures surrounded by membranes, thus without access to the cytosol. On the other hand, some argue that nanoparticles can cross the cell membrane (passive diffusion) and directly access the cytosol. Furthermore, many proposed applications in this field aim to use nanoparticles as intracellular sensors, which means that nanoparticles send signals when detecting their targets in the cytosol. These applications are dependent on nanoparticles accessing the cytosol.

A replication project. The European Research Council Synergy project NanoBubbles aims to better understand the barriers to the correction of science. It is an interdisciplinary collaboration that encompasses natural and human sciences. It includes a replication project that focuses on publications reporting intracellular sensing with the aim of contributing both to nanobiology (by addressing questions such as a) how nanoparticles enter the cell, b) if, and to what extent, nanoparticles can escape vesicles and access the cytosol and c) to the study of the role of replications.


Click here to read more about the event, including the detailed programme and speakers.



Cite this blog post
ztoure (2023, September 12). Escaping the (nano)bubble: the role of replication in scientific controversies. NanoBubbles . Retrieved June 15, 2024, from

You may also like...

1 Response

  1. 14/09/2023

    […] Plus d’informations concernant le symposium sont disponibles sur le site web du projet. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Search OpenEdition Search

You will be redirected to OpenEdition Search