Last week’s post highlighted a paper by Casadevall and Feng which argued that the culture of science is in urgent need of reform. In particular, they argued, “incentives in the current system place scientists under tremendous stress, discourage cooperation, encourage poor scientific practices”. I agreed with the thrust of the article, and I wondered how widespread these views might be, so I set up a survey to poll readers on each point raised in the original article.
The final hidden gem is this article on reforming science. Although it appears in the journal Infection and Immunity it is concerned with the culture of science as a whole and will be of interest to all scientists. The authors Arturo Casadevall and Ferric Fang diagnose some serious systemic problems with 21st century science and prescribe some reforms by way of treatment. At the bottom of this article there is a survey for you to express your views.
The next gem concerns another cognitive bias of great significance to scientists and especially philosophers.
People overestimate their ability to form coherent explanations. This paper investigates the overconfidence through 12 experiments.
The upshot of this phenomenon is that we should be extremely cautious of verbal explanations which, in their nature, tend to obscure explanatory gaps, hidden assumptions, false premises and reasoning errors.
Read on for a hubristic rant about the implications for Philosophy and Science…