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The Credit Incentive to Be a Maverick

Heesen, Remco (2019) The Credit Incentive to Be a Maverick. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, 76. pp. 5-12. ISSN 00393681

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Abstract

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.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Heesen, Remcor.heesen@lse.ac.uk0000-0003-3823-944X
Keywords: Philosophy of science; Mavericks; Social epistemology; Formal epistemology; Credit economy
Subjects: General Issues > Decision Theory
General Issues > Science Education
General Issues > Science and Policy
General Issues > Social Epistemology of Science
Depositing User: Remco Heesen
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2020 01:24
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 14:13
Item ID: 16846
Journal or Publication Title: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsa.2018.11.007
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsa.2018.11.007
Subjects: General Issues > Decision Theory
General Issues > Science Education
General Issues > Science and Policy
General Issues > Social Epistemology of Science
Date: August 2019
Page Range: pp. 5-12
Volume: 76
ISSN: 00393681
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16846

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