Fiona Fidler email@example.com
I’m a Professor at the University of Melbourne. I’m primarily interested in how scientists and other experts reason, make and justify decisions, and change their minds. I also have an abiding interest is statistical controversies, for example, the ongoing debate over Null Hypothesis Significance Testing versus Estimation and arguments about Frequentists versus Bayesian statistics.
These days, I mostly work in the area known as ‘metascience’ or ‘metaresearch’. An example of my work in this area is the repliCATS project which has evaluated the research quality of thousands of published claims in 8 areas of social and behavioural science: Business research, Criminology, Economics, Education, Political Science, Psychology, Public Administration, and Sociology.
My position at the University of Melbourne is split between the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies (SHAPS) in the Faculty of Arts, and the School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences (SEFS) in the Faculty of Science. It’s a bit unusual to be split across two faculties like this. I find it sociologically, if not always adminstrivately, interesting. In SHAPS, I am part of the History and Philosophy of Science program (HPS). In SEFS I am part of the Quantitative and Applied Ecology group (QaEco). I am fortunate enough to have wonderful colleagues in both these places, which takes the edge off never quite fitting in anywhere.
My own research group is interdisciplinary too: with Professor Simine Vazire (Psychology), I co-lead the MetaMelb research group.
I was the founding president of the Association for Metaresearch and Open Science which runs a truly excellent annual conference. I’m also involved in establishing the Australian Reproducibility Network, and sit on the advisory board of the UK Reproducibility Network.
Background. My undergraduate (honours) degree was in Psychology, with a second major in Sociology. I completed my PhD in the (then) Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Melbourne (From Statistical Significance to Effect Estimation: Statistical Reform in Psychology, Medicine and Ecology). I was an ARC Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Psychological Science at La Trobe University (2007-2010). Later, I worked on various expert judgement and decision making projects as aSenior Research Fellow in the Centre of Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Assessment (CEBRA) and the ARC Centre of Excellence in Environmental Decisions (CEED) at The University of Melbourne (2011-2014). In 2015, I spent a wonderful year in the Interdisciplinary Conservation Science Group (ICON) at RMIT University, before returning to the University of Melbourne to take up an ARC Future Fellowship and my current position.
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