The credit incentive to be a maverick.
Stud Hist Philos Sci
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Heesen, R. (2019). The credit incentive to be a maverick.. Stud Hist Philos Sci, 76 5-12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsa.2018.11.007
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 that (even in theory) this idea is less straightforward than it may seem. Interpreting mavericks as scientists who prioritize rewards over speed and risk, I show in a deliberatively simple model that there is a fixed mixture which is not particularly likely to be desirable and which credit incentives cannot alter. I consider a way around this result, but this has some major drawbacks. I conclude that credit incentives are not as promising a way to create a desirable mixture of mavericks and followers as one might have thought.
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/10.1016/j.shpsa.2018.11.007
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/288279
Attribution 4.0 International
Licence URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
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