Philosophy colloquium: Felipe Romero

Title: The conceptual origins of metascience: fashion or revolution?

By Felipe Romero (Philosophy, Groningen)

Date: Thursday May 11, 2023

Time: 15.30-17.00 

Room: H232

Abstract: Ten years into the replication crisis, many scientists are experiencing a deep sense of worry and skepticism. In reaction to this problem, an optimistic wave of researchers has taken the lead, turning their scientific eyes onto science itself to make science better. These metascientists have made progress in studying the causes of the crisis and proposing solutions. They have identified questionable research practices and bad statistics as potential culprits. They have defended statistical and publication reforms as solutions. Lastly, they are designing technological tools (benefiting from developments in related fields such as data science, machine learning, and complexity science) to support such reforms. The term metascience precedes the replication crisis. However, only now is metascience becoming institutionalized: there is an increasing community of practitioners, societies, conferences, and research centers. This institutionalization and its perils require philosophical attention. It is worth stepping back and asking foundational questions about it. How did metascience emerge? Where does the novelty of metascience lie? How does metascience relate to other fields that take science as their subject matter? This talk focuses on the conceptual origins of metascience. I explore three different models of discipline creation and change, and seek to understand whether they can make sense of the emergence of metascience. I suggest that we should challenge the increasingly popular perception of metascience as a fully authoritative field.

About the speaker: Felipe Romero is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Theoretical Philosophy at the University of Groningen. His research falls in the domains of philosophy of science, social epistemology, and philosophy of cognitive science. He works primarily on understanding how the social organization of research activities affects their epistemic outcomes. He also has projects on causation and explanation in cognitive science and knowledge ascriptions. He explores these topics by supporting conceptual analysis with empirical literature, case studies, and computational models.


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