Scientonomy Workshop 2023
|Title||First Scientonomy Workshop|
|Start Date||25 February 2023|
|End Date||25 February 2023|
During the workshop, we will discuss the remaining open modifications suggested in the following papers:
Shaw & Barseghyan (2019)
Shaw, Jamie and Barseghyan, Hakob. (2019) Problems and Prospects with the Scientonomic Workflow. Scientonomy 3, 1-14. Retrieved from https://scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/33509.
These modification concern the scientonomic workflow, so they will have to be disucssed first.
Sarwar & Fraser (2018)
Sarwar, Ameer and Fraser, Patrick. (2018) Scientificity and The Law of Theory Demarcation. Scientonomy 2, 55-66. Retrieved from https://www.scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/31275.
- Modification:Sciento-2018-0013 (the discussion: Modification_talk:Sciento-2018-0013)
- Modification:Sciento-2018-0014 (the discussion: Modification_talk:Sciento-2018-0014)
Patton, Paul. (2019) Epistemic Tools and Epistemic Agents in Scientonomy. Scientonomy 3, 63-89. Retrieved from https://scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/33621.
Palider, Kye. (2019) Reasons in the Scientonomic Ontology. Scientonomy 3, 15-31. Retrieved from https://scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/33557.
Barseghyan & Levesley (2021)
Barseghyan, Hakob and Levesley, Nichole. (2021) Question Dynamics. Scientonomy 4, 1-19. Retrieved from https://scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/37120.
Patton & Al-Zayadi (2021)
Patton, Paul and Al-Zayadi, Cyrus. (2021) Disciplines in the Scientonomic Ontology. Scientonomy 4, 59-85. Retrieved from https://scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/37123.
Rawleigh, William. (2022) Reconceiving Scientific Mosaics: A New Formalization for Theoretical Scientonomy. In Barseghyan et al. (Eds.) (2022) Scientonomy. Vernon Press, 83-103. Retrieved from https://1drv.ms/b/s!Ah0oClIIIQL8guMmMRU8Ar6A44SGqA?e=S8uNMA.
We will also discuss what should be done about the modifications that make historical claims, such as:
- Sciento-2018-0013: Accept scientificity as a distinct epistemic stance that epistemic agents can take towards theories. Also accept several questions concerning the definition of scientificity and the applicability of scientificity to other epistemic elements, such as methods and questions, as legitimate topics of scientonomic inquiry. The modification was suggested to Scientonomy community by Patrick Fraser and Ameer Sarwar on 28 December 2018.1 The modification is currently being evaluated; a verdict is pending.
- Sciento-2018-0014: Accept the law of theory demarcation as a new scientonomic axiom. Also accept questions concerning indicators of scientificity as legitimate topics of scientonomic inquiry. The modification was suggested to Scientonomy community by Patrick Fraser and Ameer Sarwar on 28 December 2018.1 The modification is currently being evaluated; a verdict is pending. The modification can only become accepted once modification Sciento-2018-0013 becomes accepted.
- Sciento-2019-0001: Accept that the goal of peer-reviews in the scientonomic workflow is evaluation for pursuitworthiness rather than acceptability. The modification was suggested to Scientonomy community by Hakob Barseghyan and Jamie Shaw on 22 December 2019.2 The modification was accepted on 25 February 2023. The decision was made during the 2023 scientonomy workshop. The modification was summarized by Paul Patton as essentially a ratification of current scientonomic practice. Jamie Shaw raised some concerns about how we don’t have adequately defined norms that must be satisfied for pursuitworthiness, which may make this modification trivial. Discussion about how peer-reviewers’ notions of pursuitworthiness may veer close to acceptability ensued. Nevertheless, the modification passed with 83% of the votes to accept (10/12).
- Sciento-2019-0002: Accept that the discussions concerning a suggested modification are to be published once a communal verdict is available. The discussions are to be published in the journal as special commentary articles co-authored by all participants of the discussion or in special edited collections. The modification was suggested to Scientonomy community by Hakob Barseghyan, Jamie Shaw and Karen Yan on 22 December 2019.2 The modification was accepted on 25 February 2023. The decision was made during the 2023 scientonomy workshop. Much of the discussions on this modification concerned the actual format of the “special commentary articles” and “special edited collections” suggested as options for publications would be. Paul Patton suggested micro-papers that could accompany each modification (one discussion paper per modification), whereas Izzy Friesen, Rebecca Muscant, and Grace Shan were supportive of unified papers in a “compilation” format (one discussion paper per workshop). The possibility of doing both concurrently was floated by Spenser Borrie. Concerns about the commentary articles/edited collections waned once it was clarified that subheadings would be present in any compilation paper, ensuring that modifications and their authors would receive adequate attention. Establishing a clear schedule and framework for such a compilation was of great importance to all attendees at the meeting, and additionally, Hakob Barseghyan suggested a special numbering system for these publications to separate them from peer-reviewed articles. It was also agreed that the first author of such a paper would be whoever was in charge of taking notes, with all other commentators listed as co-authors. The modification was accepted almost unanimously.
- Sciento-2019-0003: Accept that the commentators of suggested modifications are allowed to suggest reformulations of the original formulations. Also accept that, by default, the new formulation should bear the original author’s name, unless the author decides to give credit to those who significantly contributed to the new reformulation. This should be decided collegially by the author, the commentators, and the editors on a case-by-case basis. The modification was suggested to Scientonomy community by Hakob Barseghyan and Jamie Shaw on 22 December 2019.2 The modification was accepted on 25 February 2023. The decision was made during the 2023 scientonomy workshop. It was noted that the idea is compatible with other consensus systems where one is allowed to modify the proposal in order to reach consensus. The modification sparked important discussion about our iterative process. Paul Patton highlighted a potential problem with our workflow where, by the time we are discussing acceptance, the paper has already been formatted and published. He raised a question if it might be more advisable to use a two-stage process, where a paper is first posted in some preliminary form and then, following the debate on acceptance, it is reformulated as needed and the final version is considered published. Hakob Barseghyan responded that there always has to be a chance of commenting on something published post factum. Instead of the two-step process, he suggested allowing small alterations to modifications after the publication and publishing the commentaries to modifications in a separate article (as the community just accepted with modification 2019-0002), while leaving the original article intact. Greg Rupik also suggested the potential for a special designation for a tweaked modification identifier (e.g. 2019-0003a instead of 2019-0003) to make it more apparent which modifications were reformulated. Barseghyan responded that the wiki is well-suited to make reformulations apparent (most specifically, in the Preamble and Verdict sections) without the need to multiply modifications. He also emphasized that this modification pertains to smaller reformulations and not to significant changes to the content, making some concerns about the modification less immediately relevant. Barseghyan also addressed the question posted prior to the workshop by Ameer Sarwar: when other authors cite a modification that has been altered, what exactly should they cite? Barseghyan suggested that, since both the original modification and the altered one will be published, one can cite both. The modification was accepted unanimously.
- Sciento-2019-0004: Accept that an annual book prize is to be offered for extensive participation on the encyclopedia. The winner(s) are to be decided by the encyclopedia editors. The modification was suggested to Scientonomy community by Hakob Barseghyan and Jamie Shaw on 22 December 2019.2 The modification is currently being evaluated; a verdict is pending.
- Sciento-2019-0005: Accept that star-ratings are to be introduced for commentators who comment on suggested modifications on the encyclopedia. The modification was suggested to Scientonomy community by Hakob Barseghyan and Jamie Shaw on 22 December 2019.2 The discussion was closed on 25 February 2023 and the modification was not accepted. At the 2023 workshop, this modification was met with concerns from the community. Firstly, the question of the equitability of star ratings was highlighted by Rebecca Muscant and Izzy Friesen. Amirali Atrli also wondered whether the problem of incentives becomes further stretched out by the five-star scale. Kye Palider noted that the up-or-down arrow that we already have on our Wiki seems simpler and more democratic than star-ranking. Alessandra Castino also mentioned that on online forums, the basis of their rating systems can discourage new commenters, and that we might see this here too. Some rating systems are also better than others – it was suggested by Joshua Allen, for example, that StackExchange’s system could provide a good model, as it incentivizes participation. Friesen highlighted that larger forums where rating systems for commentary are popular include anonymity by default, which makes this kind of recognition important, but this is not so much of an issue in the scientonomy community. Palider suggested simply listing a user’s number of comments but, as Castino emphasized, such ratings might not reflect the quality of the comments. Jamie Shaw noted that this need not necessarily be an issue since all participation grades are almost inevitably subjective and don’t necessarily reflect the quality. Deivide Garcia suggested that more thoughts needs to be put into this before any of the suggestions could be implemented. Barseghyan agreed and noted that the mediawiki platform has limitations on what can be done here, so it is unclear which of the new suggestions could be possibly implemented. Ultimately, though, the modification was rejected.
- Sciento-2019-0006: Accept that the encyclopedia editors are to be granted official housekeeping rights to handle the ripple effects. Also accept that if the additional required changes are implicit in the suggested modification, the editors should create and alter encyclopedia pages to ensure that the accepted body of scientonomic knowledge is properly documented; if it is conceivable to accept the modification without accepting the ripple effect change in question, the editors should register these changes as new suggested modifications so that the community can discuss and evaluate them in an orderly fashion. The modification was suggested to Scientonomy community by Hakob Barseghyan and Jamie Shaw on 22 December 2019.2 The modification was accepted on 25 February 2023. The decision was made during the 2023 workshop. Hakob Barseghyan emphasized that this modification does not grant permission to alter the body of scientonomic knowledge but simply to ensure that the pages of the encyclopedia reflect the actual state of scientonomic knowledge and that the scientonomic knowledge is stored in the most appropriate manner. Among other things, this is to handle the so-called ripple effect. Barseghyan mentioned that, while working on the encyclopedia with Paul Patton and Izzy Friesen, they had discovered several instances of ripple effect that resulted from our human lack of omniscience (e.g. a theory was supposed to be listed under Theories to Accept of a modification but wasn’t; a theory was actually accepted by the community but there was no record of it in the encyclopedia, etc.). Hence, according to Barseghyan, it would make sense to grant the editors the necessary right to adjust the respective pages to handle its consequences. Deivide Garcia wondered how such very small modifications can be tracked. Barseghyan responded that the changes in question are not meant to concern the body of scientonomic knowledge (thus, these are not modifications in the standard scientonomic sense), but are only to ensure that the encyclopedia reflects the current state of scientonomic knowledge and organizes that knowledge efficiently. Kye Palider highlighted the issue of transparency: how will the community be notified about such changes? Barseghyan suggested that an annual housekeeping paper is to be published in the Scientonomy journal as a collective report on changes to the encyclopedia. The modification was accepted.
- Sciento-2019-0007: Accept that the verdict on suggested modifications is to be decided by a communal vote that will follow the discussion period. Have a communal discussion and decide as to what percentage of votes it should take for a modification to be accepted - a simple majority (50% +1), or supermajority of three fifths (60%), two thirds (67%), or three quarters (75%). Also discuss to decide as to how long the discussion period and the voting period should be. The modification was suggested to Scientonomy community by Hakob Barseghyan and Jamie Shaw on 22 December 2019.2 The modification was accepted on 25 February 2023. Prior to the 2023 workshop, Ameer Sarwar argued against the modification. First, he noted that voting is not an appropriate mechanism in science where the goal is to unearth truth.c1 Second, it is unclear how we can ensure informed voting given that some members of the community could be inactive for several years. He thus suggested that we should keep this modification open and wait until after the resolution of modifications 2019-0002 and 2019-0003 that suggest alternative ways to increase participation. During the workshop, the modification was generally well received. Before voting, there was some concern about our voting process – who can vote and when can they vote? – voiced by Josh Allen and Paul Patton. Additionally, Deivide Garcia and Amirali Atrli raised concerns about who are “allowed” to function as part of the scientonomy community. Patton also suggested introducing quorum in addition to the 2/3rds stipulation to avoid potential modifications to the scientonomic body of knowledge introduced by a small number of participants. Gregory Rupik along with Jamie Shaw indicated that while quorum makes perfect sense for larger decision-making bodies, our capacity to vote should not hinge on who is absent, but rather on who is present. It was also determined that even though there is always a risk of a small group of people making big changes, or with people being unsatisfied with a modification they were not allowed to vote on, the iterative nature of our process ensures that there are easy solutions here; in addition, as Spenser summarized, most people in academic environments can be trusted to self-police. Notably, since this proposal represents an attempt to formalize a voting system and closure mechanism, and itself was not subject to a specific voting system, it was decided by those present that we would accept this modification with a minimum of 2/3rds assent. The modification was accepted with overwhelming support.
- a b Sarwar, Ameer and Fraser, Patrick. (2018) Scientificity and The Law of Theory Demarcation. Scientonomy 2, 55-66. Retrieved from https://www.scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/31275.
- a b c d e f g Shaw, Jamie and Barseghyan, Hakob. (2019) Problems and Prospects with the Scientonomic Workflow. Scientonomy 3, 1-14. Retrieved from https://scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/33509.