Remco Heesen
University of Western Australia
It is well-known that some scientists are more prominent than others. But what makes one scientist more prominent than another? I propose a possible mechanism that produces differences in prominence: scientists' desire for information. In a model of a scientific community exchanging information, I show that this mechanism indeed produces the kind of patterns of prominence that are actually observed. I discuss the implications of this result for three possible explanations of an individual scientist's prominence: an explanation based on scientific merit, an explanation based on epistemically irrelevant factors, and an explanation based on epistemic luck. Depending on which of these explanations is correct one may draw different conclusions about a scientist based on prominence. I discuss policy recommendations that result from this, including suggestions about when it is appropriate to use measures of prominence in giving out grants and awards.
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On the Principle of Total Evidence.I. J. Good - 1966 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 17 (4):319-321.

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