Scientific collaboration: do two heads need to be more than twice better than one ?

Thomas Boyer, Cyrille Imbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Epistemic accounts of scientific collaboration usually assume that, one way or another, two heads really are more than twice better than one. We show that this hypothesis is unduly strong. We present a deliberately crude model with unfavorable hypotheses. We show that, even then, when the priority rule is applied, large differences in successfulness can emerge from small differences in efficiency, with sometimes increasing marginal returns. We emphasize that success is sensitive to the structure of competing communities. Our results suggest that purely epistemic explanations of the efficiency of collaborations are less plausible but have much more powerful socio-epistemic versions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-688
JournalPhilosophy of science: Official journal of the Philosophy of Science Association
Volume82
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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Scientific Collaboration

Keywords

  • philosophy of science
  • Epistemology

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title = "Scientific collaboration: do two heads need to be more than twice better than one ?",
abstract = "Epistemic accounts of scientific collaboration usually assume that, one way or another, two heads really are more than twice better than one. We show that this hypothesis is unduly strong. We present a deliberately crude model with unfavorable hypotheses. We show that, even then, when the priority rule is applied, large differences in successfulness can emerge from small differences in efficiency, with sometimes increasing marginal returns. We emphasize that success is sensitive to the structure of competing communities. Our results suggest that purely epistemic explanations of the efficiency of collaborations are less plausible but have much more powerful socio-epistemic versions.",
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Scientific collaboration : do two heads need to be more than twice better than one ? / Boyer, Thomas; Imbert, Cyrille.

In: Philosophy of science: Official journal of the Philosophy of Science Association, Vol. 82, No. 4, 2015, p. 667-688.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Scientific collaboration

T2 - do two heads need to be more than twice better than one ?

AU - Boyer, Thomas

AU - Imbert, Cyrille

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - Epistemic accounts of scientific collaboration usually assume that, one way or another, two heads really are more than twice better than one. We show that this hypothesis is unduly strong. We present a deliberately crude model with unfavorable hypotheses. We show that, even then, when the priority rule is applied, large differences in successfulness can emerge from small differences in efficiency, with sometimes increasing marginal returns. We emphasize that success is sensitive to the structure of competing communities. Our results suggest that purely epistemic explanations of the efficiency of collaborations are less plausible but have much more powerful socio-epistemic versions.

AB - Epistemic accounts of scientific collaboration usually assume that, one way or another, two heads really are more than twice better than one. We show that this hypothesis is unduly strong. We present a deliberately crude model with unfavorable hypotheses. We show that, even then, when the priority rule is applied, large differences in successfulness can emerge from small differences in efficiency, with sometimes increasing marginal returns. We emphasize that success is sensitive to the structure of competing communities. Our results suggest that purely epistemic explanations of the efficiency of collaborations are less plausible but have much more powerful socio-epistemic versions.

KW - philosophy of science

KW - Epistemology

M3 - Article

VL - 82

SP - 667

EP - 688

JO - Philosophy of science: Official journal of the Philosophy of Science Association

JF - Philosophy of science: Official journal of the Philosophy of Science Association

SN - 0031-8248

IS - 4

ER -