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Discrimination and Collaboration in Science

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2022


We use game theoretic models to take an in-depth look at the dynamics of discrimination and academic collaboration. We find that in collaboration networks, small minority groups may be more likely to end up being discriminated against while collaborating. We also find that discrimination can lead members of different social groups to mostly collaborate with in-group members, decreasing the effective diversity of the social network. Drawing on previous work, we discuss how decreases in the diversity of scientific collaborations might negatively affect the progress of epistemic communities.

Research Article
Copyright © The Philosophy of Science Association

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We would like to thank Liam Kofi Bright, Mike D. Schneider, and two anonymous referees for helpful comments and feedback. We are also grateful for questions and comments from members of the UC Irvine Social Dynamics research group, the Norms and Networks Cluster at the University of Groningen, and audiences at the following conferences and universities: the Formal Epistemology Workshop at University of Washington, the Australian National University, the 2017 Salzburg-Irvine-Munich Workshop on Scientific Philosophy at UC Irvine, Risk and the Culture of Science at the University of Cambridge, Formal Models of Scientific Inquiry at Ruhr-Universität Bochum, ENSO V at Lund University, and the Philosophy Faculty at the University of Groningen. This material is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation under grant STS-1535139.


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