Social behavioural epistemology and the scientific community
The progress of science is influenced substantially by social behaviour of and social interactions within the scientific community. Similar to innovations in primate groups, the social acceptance of an innovation depends not only upon the relevance of the innovation but also on the social dominance and connectedness of the innovator. There are a number of parallels between many well-known phenomena in behavioural evolution and various behavioural traits observed in the scientific community. It would be useful, therefore, to use principles of behavioural evolution as hypotheses to study the social behaviour of the scientific community. I argue in this paper that a systematic study of social behavioural epistemology is likely to boost the progress of science by addressingseveral prevalent biases and other problems in scientific communication and by facilitating appropriate acceptance/rejection of novel concepts.
Volume 99, 2020
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