Research and Publications
Models of Scientific Communities and Social Epistemology:
- Dissertation: Is it ever good to hide dissent in science?: a network modeling approach to dissent
- There has been growing concern about so called “epistemically detrimental” dissent in science, and what to do about this dissent. This is dissent which is considered detrimental to the advancement of science. In my dissertaion, I use formal methods from network epistemology to study the effect of sharing evidence that supports dissenting theories. I do this to introduce the tools of network epistemology to the debate on “epistemically detrimental” dissent, where they have not previously been used. By introducing such methods it is possible to offer new possible explanations for observed phenomena, and use the results of these models to lend further support to arguments in this debate.
- Does it Harm Science to Suppress Dissenting Evidence?
AbstractIncreased attention to epistemically detrimental dissent in science has led to discussions about how scientific communities should respond. One proposed method is to hide it by preventing its publication in journals; however, the effectiveness of this strategy has been questioned. Using network models, I simulate the epistemic effects of hiding dissenting evidence on scientific communities. I find evidence that it typically may be epistemically harmful to hide dissenting evidence, and this harm holds even when there exists an agent purposefully producing biased evidence supporting that theory. However, I also find that if dissenting evidence starts being hidden when scientists are sufficiently far along the path to consensus it is just as epistemically successful, but also quicker. Quicker consensus is important in situations where decisions must be made quickly, such as public health emergencies. This may justify hiding dissent when a mainstream theory has large amounts of evidence for it.
Early Analytic Philosophy:
- Keynes, Wittgenstein, and Probability in the Tractatus
AbstractIt has been questioned why Wittgenstein wrote a significant amount on probability in the Tractatus. In this paper I answer this question. I claim that the primary aim of Wittgenstein's account was to criticize a Keynesian theory of probability and provide multiple pieces of evidence to demonstrate this. This then provides an answer to the question of why Wittgenstein wrote such a significant amount on probability. He wrote it because it was salient at the time. Whilst Wittgenstein was at Cambridge there was significant discussion of probability by his philosophical interlocutors, particularly Keynes but also Russell, Moore and others. Wittgenstein thought he had the answers to the problems that were being discussed and set them out in the Tractatus.
- Modelling of climatic tolerances of three earthworm species; Satchellius mammalis, Lumbricus friendi and Lumbricus festivus using Maximum Entropy Modeling
- Opuscula Zoologica, 2022
- With Emma Sherlock and Csaba Csuzdi
AbstractEarthworm distributions are poorly known and individual species climatic tolerances, even less so. This paper sets out to use three species with a mainly Anglo-French distribution to test out whether using Maximum Entropy Modelling (Maxent) could be useful when studying earthworm distributions. It also gives an indication of how the likely climatic changes over a 50 year period will affect them. Overall the software seems to give useful information of where across Europe a particular species will thrive, even if not currently recorded there. It gives a real insight into how particular species might be better able to survive longer drier periods than others and which are on the edge of their climatic range already. Maxent modelling was clearly successful in demonstrating that the distributions of the ecologically different earthworm species are affected by a combination of different environmental variables. In the case of the epigeic Satchellius mammalis they are the annual temperature range, the precipitation of the driest month and the mean annual precipitation, for the epi-endogeic Lumbricus festivus they are the precipitation of the driest month, the precipitation of the wettest month and the annual temperature range. For the anecic Lumbricus friendi the most important environmental variables proved to be the annual temperature range, the mean diurnal temperature range and the precipitation seasonality.
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