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  1.  12
    Centralized Funding and Epistemic Exploration.Shahar Avin - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axx059.
    Computer simulation of an epistemic landscape model, modified to include explicit representation of a centralized funding body, show the method of funding allocation has significant effects on communal trade-off between exploration and exploitation, with consequences for the community’s ability to generate significant truths. The results show this effect is contextual, and depends on the size of the landscape being explored, with funding that includes explicit random allocation performing significantly better than peer-review on large landscapes. The paper proposes a way of (...)
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  2.  27
    Method Pluralism, Method Mismatch, & Method Bias.Adrian Currie & Shahar Avin - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19 (13).
    Pluralism about scientific method is more-or-less accepted, but the consequences have yet to be drawn out. Scientists adopt different methods in response to different epistemic situations: depending on the system they are interested in, the resources at their disposal, and so forth. If it is right that different methods are appropriate in different situations, then mismatches between methods and situations are possible. This is most likely to occur due to method bias: when we prefer a particular kind of method, despite (...)
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  3.  11
    Mavericks and Lotteries.Shahar Avin - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A.
    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 (...)
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  4.  6
    Policy Considerations for Random Allocation of Research Funds.Shahar Avin - unknown
    There are now several proposals for introducing random elements into the process of funding allocation for research, and some initial implementation of this policy by funding bodies. The proposals have been supported on efficiency grounds, with models, including social epistemology models, showing random allocation could increase the generation of significant truths in a community of scientists when compared to funding by peer review. The models in the literature are, however, fairly abstract. This paper introduces some of the considerations that are (...)
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  5.  59
    A Philosopher's View of the Epistemic Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.Shahar Avin - unknown
    There are various reasons for favouring Ψ-epistemic interpretations of quantum mechanics over Ψ-ontic interpretations. One such reason is the correlation between quantum mechanics and Liouville dynamics. Another reason is the success of a specific epistemic model (Spekkens, 2007), in reproducing a wide range of quantum phenomena. The potential criticism, that Spekkens' restricted knowledge principle is counter-intuitive, is rejected using `everyday life' examples. It is argued that the dimensionality of spin favours Spekkens' model over Ψ-ontic models. van Enk's extension of Spekkens' (...)
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    Centralised Funding and the Division of Cognitive Labour.Shahar Avin - unknown
    Project selection by funding bodies directly influences the division of cognitive labour in scientific communities. I present a novel adaptation of an existing agent-based model of scientific research, in which a central funding body selects from proposed projects located on an epistemic landscape. I simulate four different selection strategies: selection based on a god's-eye perspective of project significance, selection based on past success, selection based on past funding, and random selection. Results show the size of the landscape matters: on small (...)
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