Why the Reward Structure of Science Makes Reproducibility Problems Inevitable
The Journal of Philosophy
F.J.E. Woodbridge : W.T. Bush
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Heesen, R. (2018). Why the Reward Structure of Science Makes Reproducibility Problems Inevitable. The Journal of Philosophy https://doi.org/10.5840/jphil20181151239
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 apply to a wide range of research situations. Currently proposed solutions will not fully address this problem. Philosophical commentators should temper their optimism about the reward structure of science.
This work was partially supported by the National Science Foundation under grant SES 1254291 and by an Early Career Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust and the Isaac Newton Trust.
Isaac Newton Trust (1608(ac))
Leverhulme Trust (ECF-2016-551)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.5840/jphil20181151239
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/288025
Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
Licence URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/