Novelty vs. Replicability: Virtues and Vices in the Reward System of Science

Citation data:

Philosophy of Science

Publication Year:
Usage 161
Downloads 161
Social Media 2
Tweets 2
Repository URL:
Romero, Felipe
Most Recent Tweet View All Tweets
preprint description
The reward system of science is the priority rule (Merton, 1957). The first scientist making a new discovery is rewarded with prestige while second runners get little or nothing. Strevens (2003, 2011), following Kitcher (1990), defends this reward system arguing that it incentivizes an efficient division of cognitive labor. I argue that this assessment depends on strong implicit assumptions about the replicability of findings. I question these assumptions based on meta-scientific evidence and argue that the priority rule systematically discourages replication. My analysis leads us to qualify Kitcher and Strevens’ contention that a priority-based reward system is normatively desirable for science.