AIMOS — The New Interdisciplinary Meta-Research and Open Science Association

Association for Interdisciplinary Meta-Research & Open Science (AIMOS)

I had a fascinating two days down at the University of Melbourne last week for the first AIMOS conference. The program is here and you can click through to see details of the sessions.

Congratulations to Fiona Fidler and her team for pulling off such a terrific event! At least 250 folks attended, and huge ranges of disciplines and talk topics were included.

The Association was formally launched at a meeting with real buzz. The organisers were taken aback (in a good way) to have so many nominations for some office-holder and committee positions that elections were needed. The incoming President is Hannah Fraser (see here and scroll down).

See more about AIMOS and the launch here.

We were told to pay attention to the title of the Association. The ‘A’ does NOT stand for Australia! The ‘I’ stands for interdisciplinary, and we really mean that! Also, meta-research and Open Science are not the same! Phew. But all those points were amply exemplified by the fabulous diversity of speakers and topics. Philosophy to ecology, politics to medicine, economics to statistics, and tons more besides.

A Few Highlights

Haphazardly chosen:

  • Simine Vazire gave a rousing opening keynote, asking whether we want to be credible or incredible. (Breaking news: Simine is joining the University of Melbourne from July next year. Wonderful!)
  • Federal politician Andrew Leigh, author of Randomistas–a great book about using RCTs to develop and guide public policy and about which I blogged last year–spoke about evidence-based policy in the public interest, and how research can shape that. Best one-liner, reflecting on replication: “If at first you do succeed, try, try and try again.” It’s a terrible shame that this year’s election didn’t see him and his colleagues running the country.
  • James Heathers loves naming things. That’s just part of his enthusiastic and highly effective way of communicating. He develops ways to identify errors in published articles, and gives his methods names including GRIM, SPRITE, DEBIT, and RIVETS.
  • Franca Agnoli, from Padua, reported that Bob’s talk (see that link for links to lots of new-statistics goodies) a month or so ago in Cesena, Italy, was terrific.

Estimation: Why and How, now with R

That was the title of my 90 minute workshop. About 22 folks participated, and my slides, which are here, have been accessed by 32 uniques. I loved demonstrating Bob’s part-prototype R module, esci.jmo, which you can download here. It can be side-loaded into jamovi. The full version of esci.jmo will be the key upgrade of ITNS to give the second edition. That’s our task for 2020!

Please be warmly encouraged to sign up to join AIMOS, which is intended to be a global association. Next year’s conference will be in Sydney. You can join a mailing list here–ignore the outdated title, I’m sure the AIMOS sites will be updated shortly.


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