Mavericks and Lotteries

In 2013 the Health Research Council of New Zealand began a stream of funding titled 'Explorer Grants', and in 2017 changes were introduced to the funding mechanisms of the Volkswagen Foundation 'Experiment!' and the New Zealand Science for Technological Innovation challenge 'Seed Projects'. All three funding streams aim at encouraging novel scientific ideas, and all now employ random selection by lottery as part of the grant selection process. The idea of funding science by lottery has emerged independently in several corners of academia, including in philosophy of science. This paper reviews the conceptual and institutional landscape in which this policy proposal emerged, how different academic fields presented and supported arguments for the proposal, and how these have been reflected in actual policy. The paper presents an analytical synthesis of the arguments presented to date, notes how they support each other and shape policy recommendations in various ways, and where competing arguments highlight need for further analysis or more data. In addition, it provides lessons for how philosophers of science can engage in shaping science policy, and in particular highlights the importance of mixing complementary expertise: it takes a village to raise policy.
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2018.11.006
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References found in this work BETA

Centralized Funding and Epistemic Exploration.Shahar Avin - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axx059.
Hempelian and Kuhnian Approaches in the Philosophy of Medicine: The Semmelweis Case.Donald Gillies - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (1):159-181.
The Republic of Science.Michael Polanyi - 1962 - Minerva 1 (1):54-73.

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Introduction: Creativity, Conservatism & the Social Epistemology of Science.Adrian Currie - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science A.

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