“The best conference…”: More about SIPS
Here’s more about the recent SIPS Conference, from my colleague Fiona Fidler who was clever enough to be there.
(Some background: Fiona, of The University of Melbourne, is among other things a psychologist, ecologist, and historian of science. Her PhD thesis, From statistical significance to effect estimation: Statistical reform in psychology, medicine and ecology is a great read and, imho, the definitive telling of the NHST story. I’m still hoping that her planned book will appear soon.)
“They should market SIPS as a cure for academic depression. It’s probably the best conference I’ve ever been to. (Prior to SIPS, the 2014 APS conference held this title for me). There’s no sense in which it is a usual conference. For one thing, there are no talks. That’s not entirely true, there were 5-min lightning talks, mostly worked on the day, inspired by the previous day’s events, or conversations had earlier that morning, mostly used to propose new, not quite fully-formed ideas to see if the crowd had any interest. The rest of the time was spent in hackathons (e.g., developing a new modular methods syllabus), workshops (e.g., writing guidelines for being an open science advocate as a reviewer), or in deep discussion about ways to improve diversity in open science. All the materials developed and much of the SIPS discussion is captured here.
“A particular highlight for Hannah Fraser (my new ecology postdoc) was the chance to talk to Katie Corker and Simine Vazire about how SIPS was started. We think we may only be a year away from having a SIPS for ecology (clearly need a new acronym!). Brian Nosek was very happy to offer support for starting a new group, and we spent some time with him talking about the first steps for that too.
“Lots of interest in philosophy of science. There’ll be a special section in the new sips journal devoted to falsification in a couple of months. They’ve all just discovered Dienes book, and Chalmers! And there’s a group very excited about Paul Meehl’s old lectures which are now available. They were happy to hear my stories about interviewing him. Apparently, I am now a historian. I guess this is part of ageing? The whole thing did make me feel like I was about 150 years old. It’s a very young crowd. Which is of course great, but comes with the inclination to think this whole movement started in 2011.
“You should… go next year. It’s super fun.”