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  1. On Serendipity in Science: Discovery at the Intersection of Chance and Wisdom.Samantha Copeland - 2019 - Synthese 196 (6):2385-2406.
    ‘Serendipity’ is a category used to describe discoveries in science that occur at the intersection of chance and wisdom. In this paper, I argue for understanding serendipity in science as an emergent property of scientific discovery, describing an oblique relationship between the outcome of a discovery process and the intentions that drove it forward. The recognition of serendipity is correlated with an acknowledgment of the limits of expectations about potential sources of knowledge. I provide an analysis of serendipity in science (...)
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  • Is Peer Review a Good Idea?Remco Heesen & Liam Kofi Bright - 2021 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (3):635-663.
    Prepublication peer review should be abolished. We consider the effects that such a change will have on the social structure of science, paying particular attention to the changed incentive structure and the likely effects on the behaviour of individual scientists. We evaluate these changes from the perspective of epistemic consequentialism. We find that where the effects of abolishing prepublication peer review can be evaluated with a reasonable level of confidence based on presently available evidence, they are either positive or neutral. (...)
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  • Communism and the Incentive to Share in Science.Remco Heesen - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (4):698-716.
    The communist norm requires that scientists widely share the results of their work. Where did this norm come from, and how does it persist? Michael Strevens provides a partial answer to these questions by showing that scientists should be willing to sign a social contract that mandates sharing. However, he also argues that it is not in an individual credit-maximizing scientist's interest to follow this norm. I argue against Strevens that individual scientists can rationally conform to the communist norm, even (...)
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  • Scientific Sharing, Communism, and the Social Contract.Michael Strevens - 2017 - In Thomas Boyer-Kassem, Conor Mayo-Wilson & Michael Weisberg (eds.), Scientific Collaboration and Collective Knowledge. Oxford University Press. pp. 3--33.
    Research programs regularly compete to achieve the same goal, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA or the construction of a TEA laser. The more the competing programs share information, the faster the goal is likely to be reached, to society's benefit. But the "priority rule"—the scientific norm mandating that the first program to reach the goal in question receive all the credit for the achievement—provides a powerful disincentive for programs to share information. How, then, is the clash (...)
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  • Why the Reward Structure of Science Makes Reproducibility Problems Inevitable.Remco Heesen - 2018 - Journal of Philosophy 115 (12):661-674.
    Recent philosophical work has praised the reward structure of science, while recent empirical work has shown that many scientific results may not be reproducible. I argue that the reward structure of science incentivizes scientists to focus on speed and impact at the expense of the reproducibility of their work, thus contributing to the so-called reproducibility crisis. I use a rational choice model to identify a set of sufficient conditions for this problem to arise, and I argue that these conditions plausibly (...)
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  • A Review of the Literature on Ethical Issues Related to Scientific Authorship.Mohammad Hosseini & Bert Gordijn - 2020 - Accountability in Research 27 (5).
    The article at hand presents the results of a literature review on the ethical issues related to scientific authorship. These issues are understood as questions and/or concerns about obligations, values or virtues in relation to reporting, authorship and publication of research results. For this purpose, the Web of Science core collection was searched for English resources published between 1945 and 2018, and a total of 324 items were analyzed. Based on the review of the documents, ten ethical themes have been (...)
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  • Expediting the Flow of Knowledge Versus Rushing Into Print.Remco Heesen - 2018 - PhilSci Archive.
    Recent empirical work has shown that many scientific results may not be reproducible. By itself, this does not entail that there is a problem. However, I argue that there is a problem: the reward structure of science incentivizes scientists to focus on speed and impact at the expense of the reproducibility of their work. I illustrate this using a well-known failure of reproducibility: Fleischmann and Pons' work on cold fusion. I then use a rational choice model to identify a set (...)
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  • Questionable Research Practices and Credit in Academic Careers.Remco Heesen - unknown
    This paper investigates how the credit incentive to engage in questionable research practices interacts with cumulative advantage, the process whereby high-status academics more easily increase their status than low-status academics. I use a mathematical model to highlight two dynamics that have not yet received much attention. First, due to cumulative advantage, questionable research practices may pay off over the course of an academic career even if they do not appear attractive at the level of individual publications. Second, because of the (...)
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  • The Incentive to Share in the Intermediate Results Game.Remco Heesen - 2017 - PhilSci Archive.
    I discuss a game-theoretic model in which scientists compete to finish the intermediate stages of some research project. Banerjee et al. have previously shown that if the credit awarded for intermediate results is proportional to their difficulty, then the strategy profile in which scientists share each intermediate stage as soon as they complete it is a Nash equilibrium. I show that the equilibrium is both unique and strict. Thus rational credit-maximizing scientists have an incentive to share their intermediate results, as (...)
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  • On Serendipity in Science: Discovery at the Intersection of Chance and Wisdom.Samantha M. Copeland - 2017 - Synthese:1-22.
    ‘Serendipity’ is a category used to describe discoveries in science that occur at the intersection of chance and wisdom. In this paper, I argue for understanding serendipity in science as an emergent property of scientific discovery, describing an oblique relationship between the outcome of a discovery process and the intentions that drove it forward. The recognition of serendipity is correlated with an acknowledgment of the limits of expectations about potential sources of knowledge. I provide an analysis of serendipity in science (...)
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  • Scientific Collaboration: Do Two Heads Need to Be More Than Twice Better Than One?Thomas Boyer-Kassem & Cyrille Imbert - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (4):667-688.
    Epistemic accounts of scientific collaboration usually assume that, one way or another, two heads really are more than twice better than one. We show that this hypothesis is unduly strong. We present a deliberately crude model with unfavorable hypotheses. We show that, even then, when the priority rule is applied, large differences in successfulness can emerge from small differences in efficiency, with sometimes increasing marginal returns. We emphasize that success is sensitive to the structure of competing communities. Our results suggest (...)
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