Why indirect contributions matter for science and scientists

Leo Tiokhin, Karthik Panchanathan, Paul Smaldino, Daniel Lakens

The beauty and the tragedy of the modern world is that it eliminates many situations that require people to demonstrate a commitment to the collective good.

- Sebastian Junger¹

Is choosing the best scientist that simple?

Typical evaluation criteria ignore indirect effects

The repercussions of ignoring indirect effects

Ignoring indirect effects fails to reward scientists who help others and fails to penalize scientists who harm others.

Ignoring indirect effects increases the intensity of competition between individual scientists

Ignoring indirect effects reduces the incentive to specialize in unique skills that complement others.

Accounting for indirect effects: lessons from animal husbandry and professional sports

Animal husbandry

Professional sports

Changing the level of selection: an overarching principle to account for indirect effects

Just change the level of selection. Easy, right?

Nothing is easy in war.

- Dwight D. Eisenhower²⁷

Metascientist studying how to make science more efficient and reliable. New content on substack: https://sciencehamster.substack.com/