The Credit Incentive to Be a Maverick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

There is a commonly made distinction between two types of scientists: risk-taking, trailblazing mavericks and detail-oriented followers. A number of recent papers have discussed the question what a desirable mixture of mavericks and followers looks like. Answering this question is most useful if a scientific community can be steered toward such a desirable mixture. One attractive route is through credit incentives: manipulating rewards so that reward-seeking scientists are likely to form the desired mixture of their own accord. Here I argue that (even in theory) this idea is less straightforward than it may seem. Interpreting mavericks as scientists who prioritize rewards over speed and risk, I show in a deliberatively simple model that there is a fixed mixture which is not particularly likely to be desirable and which credit incentives cannot alter. I consider a way around this result, but this has some major drawbacks. I conclude that credit incentives are not as promising a way to create a desirable mixture of mavericks and followers as one might have thought.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-12
Number of pages8
JournalStudies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A
Volume76
Early online date3 Dec 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The Credit Incentive to Be a Maverick'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this