zoom Meeting (online only)


November 24, 2020: Fiona Fidler & Bonnie Wintle 
Topic: The repliCATS Project

Why is it important to predict replicability? In the past 10 years, science has faced a ‘replication crisis’. Researchers have been unable to replicate the results of several landmark studies in medicine, psychology, economics and other fields, causing many to question the scientific evidence base we use to make decisions. But, we can’t afford to test and replicate every piece of research before it’s published – it will be too costly and time consuming. The repliCATS project (“Collaborative Assessment for Trustworthy Science”) aims to crowdsource predictions about the replicability of published research. Recently, we completed assessing 3000 research claims from eight social and behavioural science fields, and an additional 100 COVID-19 related preprints. Next year, we will begin the next Phase of the project. In this presentation, we will give an overview of the repliCATS project, our progress (just how accurate are our predictions?), and a taster of plans for Phase 2.

About the speakers: 
Fiona is interested in how scientists and other experts reason, make and justify decisions, and change their minds. She works on a wide range of metaresearch projects across ecology, conservation science, psychology and other social science fields. She has a degree in Psychology, with a second major in Sociology, and a PhD in History and Philosophy. After a decade working in environmental decision research centres, Fiona is now a Professor at the University of Melbourne, with a joint appointment in School of Biosciences (Ecology and Evolution) and the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies (History and Philosophy of Science). Fiona is a current Australian Research Council Future Fellow. She is co-lead (with Professor Simine Vazire) of MetaMelb, a recently launched metaresearch group at the University of Melbourne, and she is lead PI of the DARPA funded repliCATS project, Collaborative Assessments for Trustworthy Science.
Bonnie is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne in the School of Biosciences, although she sits with the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies (SHAPS). She is part of the interdisciplinary metaresearch group, MetaMelb, who think a lot about how science is done, and ways to improve it. Bonnie is a PI on the exciting repliCATS project (where the “CATS” stands for Collaborative Assessment for Trustworthy Science). She’s also interested in issues of replication and generalisability of findings from ecology and conservation science. Over the past ten years, she has mostly worked on improving judgements and decision making in uncertain domains that rely heavily on experts, particularly risk analysis, intelligence, environmental science and Natural Resource Management. She’s also done a lot of horizon scanning, including with the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) at the University of Cambridge, where Bonnie spent a postdoc scanning the horizon for emerging risks and benefits associated with rapidly changing technologies, such as bioengineering. Her research is informed by cognitive psychology and a little bit of philosophy, and has application across many disciplines. She is currently Vice President of the Association for Interdisciplinary Meta-Research and Open Science (AIMOS), and on the executive committee for the newly established Society for Open science, Reliability, and Transparency in Ecology and Evolutionary biology (SORTEE). Bonnie also coordinates and lectures in ‘Environmental Risk Assessment’ at Melbourne Uni.

Additional information regarding this event will be updated here as it becomes available.