A Manifesto for Big Team Science: Talk at AFC

March 11, 2021, Patrick Forscher gave a talk (online) at the Applied Face Cognition lab, led by Meike Ramon and for the Swiss Reproducibility Network. Below first the video of his talk and then the abstract.


Progress in psychology has been frustrated by challenges concerning replicability, generalizability, strategy selection, inferential reproducibility, and computational reproducibility. Although often discussed separately, I argue that these five challenges share a common cause: insufficient investment of resources into the typical psychology study. I further suggest that big team science can help address these challenges by allowing researchers to pool their resources to efficiently and drastically increase the amount of resources available for a single study. However, the current incentives, infrastructure, and institutions in academic science have all developed under the assumption that science is conducted by solo Principal Investigators and their dependent trainees. These barriers must be overcome if big team science is to be sustainable. Big team science likely also carries unique risks, such as the potential for big team science institutions to monopolize power, become overly conservative, make mistakes at a grand scale, or fail entirely due to mismanagement and a lack of financial sustainability. I illustrate the promise, barriers, and risks of big team science with the experiences of the Psychological Science Accelerator, a global research network of over 1400 members from 70+ countries.

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