Tacit Knowledge, Trust, and the Q of Sapphire suggests that transferring tacit knowledge requires a lot of trust, which in turn comes from repeated personal interactions. The story of how nobody could replicate the Russian results until they actually hung out with the Russians and got their help makes me wonder about trust in the heavily publicized reproducibility crisis in two ways.
First, did the experimenters do unreplicable experiments because they were disconnected from a trust network?
Second did the people attempting to replicate the papers do what the Sapphire researchers did and actually dig into their techniques?
There’s also a misconstruing of science that someone should be able to pick up a paper and replicate the experiment the person described. I myself subscribed to this view for years. In the context of a high trust environment, papers are the beginning of a conversation with peers, not an artifact that stands on its own.
This all suggests that perhaps Decreased trust is crippling research