fidlerfm at unimelb.edu.au
Associate Professor | ARC Future Fellow
School of BioSciences | School of Historical and Philosophical Studies
I am a psychologist with a PhD in philosophy of science, working primarily in conservation science. I’m interested in how scientists and other experts reason, make decisions and change their minds.
Current research interests: Reproducibility, transparency and open science; expert judgement, reasoning and decision making; methodology change in science; behavioural and institutional change; research ethics and scientific integrity.
My research group’s page is Research on Research. It has a growing collection of references about meta-research and reproducibility in a number of different disciplines.
In the School of BioSciences, I am part of the Quantitative and Applied Ecology group (Qaeco). In the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, I am part of the History and Philosophy of Science program (HPS).
I have ongoing collaborations with the wonderful Interdisciplinary Conservation Science Research Group at RMIT University and am a member of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Environmental Decisions (CEED).
Reproducibility, Open Science, Scientific Methodology.
I’m investigating the “reproducibility crisis” in science, including publication bias, questionable research practices (like p-hacking, cherry picking, HARKing), and initiatives for improving inference. I’m particularly interested in methods for evaluating the evidence base of sciences like ecology, where large scale replication projects are usually not feasible. This work is supported by an ARC Future Fellowship
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.
Reasoning, Argumentation, Critical Thinking
I am a Chief Investigator (with Mark Burgman, Tim Van Gelder and Richard di Rosario) on the University of Melbourne’s CREATE (Crowdsourced Reasoning, Evidence, Argumentation, Thinking and Evaluation) project, a $28M project funded by IARPA (research agency of the US Office of National Intelligence). We will be building structured tools to support better reasoning and analysis in an online crowdsourced environment. This project is interdisciplinary, with research teams in the Schools of BioSciences, Historical and Philosophical Studies, and Engineering. If you’d like to participate in this project, please sign up here.
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 (thesis title: 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). I joined the Interdisciplinary Conservation Science Research Group in the Centre for Urban Research at RMIT for 2015 and then returned to the University of Melbourne in 2016 as an Associate Professor. I have a joint appointment School of BioSciences and the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies.