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  1. 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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  • Is Peer Review a Good Idea?Remco Heesen & Liam Kofi Bright - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axz029.
    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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Scientific Sharing: Communism and the Social Contract.Michael Strevens - forthcoming - In Thomas Boyer-Kassem, Conor Mayo-Wilson & Michael Weisberg (eds.), Scientific Collaboration and Collective Knowledge. Oxford University Press.
    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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  • Expediting the Flow of Knowledge Versus Rushing Into Print.Remco Heesen - unknown
    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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  • 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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