Judgement aggregation in scientific collaborations: The case for waiving expertise.

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Date: Dec. 2020
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Document Type: Report; Brief article
Length: 243 words

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Abstract :

Keywords Scientific rationality; Judgement aggregation; Social epistemology; Collaboration in science Abstract The fragmentation of academic disciplines forces individuals to specialise. In doing so, they become experts over their narrow area of research. However, ambitious scientific projects, such as the search for gravitational waves, require them to come together and collaborate across disciplinary borders. How should scientists with expertise in different disciplines treat each others' expert claims? An intuitive answer is that the collaboration should defer to the opinions of experts. In this paper we show that under certain seemingly innocuous assumptions, this intuitive answer gives rise to an impossibility result when it comes to aggregating the beliefs of experts to deliver the beliefs of a collaboration as a whole. We then argue that when experts' beliefs come into conflict, they should waive their expert status. Author Affiliation: (a) Department of Philosophy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, United States of America (b) Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science, London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (c) Institute of Philosophy, University of London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (d) Department of Philosophy, University College London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland * Corresponding author at: Department of Philosophy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, United States of America. Article History: Received 22 May 2020; Revised 9 July 2020; Byline: Alexandru Marcoci [marcoci@unc.edu] (a,b,*), James Nguyen [james.nguyen@sas.ac.uk] (c,d,b)

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A648519846