Disagreement in science exists in a variety of strengths, from doubt-raising articles and issues of non-reproducibility up to raging disputes and major controversies. An often-latent form of disagreement consists of misconceptions whereby false ideas are held that run contrary to what is commonly accepted as knowledge. Misconceptions have been the focus of much research in education science and psychology. Here we draw attention to misconceptions that may arise in the very practice of science. We highlight formal features that can be used to characterize misconceptions and distinguish them from controversies, in addition to how they relate to knowledge creation.

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