Novelty vs. Replicability: Virtues and Vices in the Reward System of Science

Felipe Romero*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


The reward system of science is the priority rule. The first scientist making a new discovery is rewarded with prestige, while second runners get little or nothing. Michael Strevens, following Philip Kitcher, defends this reward system, arguing that it incentivizes an efficient division of cognitive labor. I argue that this assessment depends on strong implicit assumptions about the replicability of findings. I question these assumptions on the basis of metascientific evidence and argue that the priority rule systematically discourages replication. My analysis leads us to qualify Kitcher and Strevens’s contention that a priority-based reward system is normatively desirable for science.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1031-1043
Number of pages22
JournalPhilosophy of Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2017
Externally publishedYes


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