Novelty vs. Replicability: Virtues and Vices in the Reward System of Science

Felipe Romero Toro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

The reward system of science is the priority rule (Merton, 1957). The first
scientist making a new discovery is rewarded with prestige while second runners
get little or nothing. Strevens (2003, 2011), following Kitcher (1990), defends
this reward system arguing that it incentivizes an efficient division of cognitive
labor. I argue that this assessment depends on strong implicit assumptions about
the replicability of findings. I question these assumptions based on meta-scientific
evidence and argue that the priority rule systematically discourages replication. My
analysis leads us to qualify Kitcher and Strevens’ contention that a priority-based
reward system is normatively desirable for science.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhilosophy of science: Official journal of the Philosophy of Science Association
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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