I’m a Professor at the University of Melbourne. My position is split between the School of BioSciences and the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies (SHAPS).
In BioSciences I am part of the Quantitative and Applied Ecology group (Qaeco). In SHAPS, I am part of the History and Philosophy of Science program (HPS). I also have ongoing collaborations with the wonderful Interdisciplinary Conservation Science Research Group at RMIT University.
I’m primarily interested in how scientists and other experts reason, make and justify decisions, and change their minds. At the University of Melbourne, I lead the Interdisciplinary Meta-Research Group (IMeRG).
Metaresearch, Open Science, Scientific Methodology
In 2019, IMeRG launched the The repliCATS project which is eliciting predictions about the likely replicability of thousands of published research claims in 8 areas of social and behavioural science: Business research, Criminology, Economics, Education, Political Science, Psychology, Public Administration, and Sociology.
I have a current ARC Future Fellowship focused on metaresearch in ecology and environmental science, where large scale replication projects are usually not feasible.
I also have an abiding interest is statistical controversies, for example, the ongoing debate over Null Hypothesis Significance Testing versus Estimation (Effect Sizes, Confidence Intervals) and arguments about Frequentists versus Bayesian statistics.
Previously, I was a PI on the University of Melbourne’s CREATE (Crowdsourced Reasoning, Evidence, Argumentation, Thinking and Evaluation) project, project funded by IARPA (research agency of the US Office of National Intelligence). This project built structured tools to support better reasoning and analysis in an online crowdsourced environment. I left the project at the end of Phase 1, to take up the repliCATS project.
I have worked on various other expert judgement projects in ACERA (Australian Centre of Excellence for Risk Assessment) and later CEBRA (Centre of Excellence for BioSecurity Risk Assessment).
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 in 2006 (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) and a Senior 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).