MTL PhilSci Net | Conférence « Social epistemology and bibliometrics » – Mike Thicke, Bard College, Bard Prison Initiative | 16.4.2018

Lundi 16 avril / Monday 16 April 12:30 – 14:00
Mike Thicke, Bard College & Bard Prison Initiative “Social epistemology and bibliometrics”
UQAM, Pavillon Paul-Gérin-Lajoie (N), salle N-8150 (PLAN/MAP)
Conférence co-organisée avec / Talk co-organized with Chaire de recherche du Canada en épistémologie pratique,Centre de recherche interuniversaire sur la science et la technologie (CIRST).
Social Epistemology and Sociology of Science ought to be closely-related disciplines. This is especially true for the socio-epistemic modelling of scientific activity and bibliometrics. Such models make assumptions and predictions about the reasoning and behaviour of scientists, and bibliometrics offers a way of evaluating those assumptions and testing those predictions. However, there has been very little interaction between these two fields. In this talk I will discuss ways in which bibliometrics can give empirical grounding to models of science and models of science can suggest productive avenues of research for bibliometrics. This relationship is similar to that between economic theory and the empirical study of markets. I will discuss examples of models such as from Kitcher and Strevens showing the spontaneous organization of credit-seeking scientists, Zollman’s model of communication in science, and various models showing the value of diversity in science. I will then discuss some limited ways in which social epistemologists have attempted to use bibliometrics to inform their models. Finally, I will offer some suggestions about ways in which social epistemology and bibliometrics might more fruitfully interact.