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  1. 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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  • The Credit Incentive to Be a Maverick.Remco Heesen - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 76:5-12.
    There is a commonly made distinction between two types of scientists: risk-taking, trailblazing mavericks and detail-oriented followers. A number of recent papers have discussed the question what a desirable mixture of mavericks and followers looks like. Answering this question is most useful if a scientific community can be steered toward such a desirable mixture. One attractive route is through credit incentives: manipulating rewards so that reward-seeking scientists are likely to form the desired mixture of their own accord. Here I argue (...)
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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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  • Explaining Scientific Collaboration: A General Functional Account.Thomas Boyer-Kassem & Cyrille Imbert - unknown
    For two centuries, collaborative research has become increasingly widespread. Various explanations of this trend have been proposed. Here, we offer a novel functional explanation of it. It differs from ac- counts like that of Wray by the precise socio-epistemic mech- anism that grounds the beneficialness of collaboration. Boyer-Kassem and Imbert show how minor differences in the step-efficiency of collaborative groups can make them much more successful in particular configurations. We investigate this model further, derive robust social patterns concerning the general (...)
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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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  • Let’s Not Agree to Disagree: The Role of Strategic Disagreement in Science.Carlos Santana - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 25):6159-6177.
    Supposedly, stubbornness on the part of scientists—an unwillingness to change one’s position on a scientific issue even in the face of countervailing evidence—helps efficiently divide scientific labor. Maintaining disagreement is important because it keeps scientists pursuing a diversity of leads rather than all working on the most promising, and stubbornness helps preserve this disagreement. Planck’s observation that “Science progresses one funeral at a time” might therefore be an insight into epistemically beneficial stubbornness on the part of researchers. In conversation with (...)
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  • Formal Models of Scientific Inquiry in a Social Context: An Introduction.Dunja Šešelja, Christian Straßer & AnneMarie Borg - 2020 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 51 (2):211-217.
    Formal models of scientific inquiry, aimed at capturing socio-epistemic aspects underlying the process of scientific research, have become an important method in formal social epistemology and philosophy of science. In this introduction to the special issue we provide a historical overview of the development of formal models of this kind and analyze their methodological contributions to discussions in philosophy of science. In particular, we show that their significance consists in different forms of ‘methodological iteration’ whereby the models initiate new lines (...)
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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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  • 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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  • A New Graduate Reader in Formal Epistemology: Arlo-Costa, Hendricks, van Bentham, Boensvang, and Rendsvig : Readings in Formal Epistemology. Dordrecht: Springer, Xxiii + 937 Pp, $129 HB. [REVIEW]Conor Mayo-Wilson - 2017 - Metascience 26 (2):241-243.
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