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Nullius in Verba

Science Podcasts

Nullius in Verba is a podcast about science—what it is and what it could be. It is hosted by Smriti Mehta from UC Berkeley and Daniël Lakens from Eindhoven University of Technology. We draw inspiration from the book Novum Organum, written in 1620 by Francis Bacon, which laid the foundations of the modern scientific method. Our logo is an homage to the title page of Novum Organum, which depicts a galleon passing between the mythical Pillars of Hercules on either side of the Strait of Gibraltar, which have been smashed by Iberian sailors to open a new world for exploration. Just as this marks the exit from the well-charted waters of the Mediterranean into the Atlantic Ocean, Bacon hoped that empirical investigation will similarly smash the old scientific ideas and lead to a greater understanding of the natural world. The title of the podcast comes from the motto of the Royal Society, set in typeface Kepler by Robert Slimbach. Our theme song is Newton’s Cradle by Grandbrothers.

Location:

United States

Description:

Nullius in Verba is a podcast about science—what it is and what it could be. It is hosted by Smriti Mehta from UC Berkeley and Daniël Lakens from Eindhoven University of Technology. We draw inspiration from the book Novum Organum, written in 1620 by Francis Bacon, which laid the foundations of the modern scientific method. Our logo is an homage to the title page of Novum Organum, which depicts a galleon passing between the mythical Pillars of Hercules on either side of the Strait of Gibraltar, which have been smashed by Iberian sailors to open a new world for exploration. Just as this marks the exit from the well-charted waters of the Mediterranean into the Atlantic Ocean, Bacon hoped that empirical investigation will similarly smash the old scientific ideas and lead to a greater understanding of the natural world. The title of the podcast comes from the motto of the Royal Society, set in typeface Kepler by Robert Slimbach. Our theme song is Newton’s Cradle by Grandbrothers.

Language:

English


Episodes
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Episode 34: Aestimatio et Emendatio Theoriarum

5/17/2024
In this episode, we continue the discussion of Meehl's Philosophy of Psychology course, focusing on lectures 3, 4, and 5. Shownotes https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clark_Glymour

Duration:01:14:07

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Prologus 34: Using scientific methods to resolve questions in the history and philosophy of science (Faust & Meehl)

5/10/2024
Faust, D., & Meehl, P. E. (1992). Using scientific methods to resolve questions in the history and philosophy of science: Some illustrations. Behavior Therapy, 23(2), 195–211. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0005-7894(05)80381-8

Duration:01:02:07

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Episode 33: Risicae Theoreticae et Asterisci Tabulares

5/3/2024
Video lectures: https://meehl.umn.edu/video Faust, D., & Meehl, P. E. (1992). Using scientific methods to resolve questions in the history and philosophy of science: Some illustrations. Behavior Therapy, 23(2), 195–211. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0005-7894(05)80381-8 Serlin, R. C., & Lapsley, D. K. (1985). Rationality in psychological research: The good-enough principle. American Psychologist, 40(1), 73–83. https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.40.1.73 Meehl, P. E. (1990). Appraising and amending theories: The strategy of Lakatosian defense and two principles that warrant it. Psychological Inquiry, 1(2), 108–141. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327965pli0102_1 Meehl, P. E. (1992). Cliometric metatheory: The actuarial approach to empirical, history-based philosophy of science. Psychological Reports, 71, 339–467.

Duration:00:59:23

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Prologus 33: Paul E. Meehl

4/26/2024
In advance of the next three episodes discussing the Philosophical Psychology lectures by Paul E. Meehl, we present a brief reading from his autobiography in A history of psychology in autobiography.

Duration:00:40:22

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Episode 32: Impartialitas

4/19/2024
In this episode, we discuss objectivity and disinterestedness in science. We talk about norms, values, interests, and objectivity in research practice, peer review, and hiring decisions. Is it possible to be completely objective? Is objectivity a feature of epistemic products or epistemic processes? And most importantly, how would you objectively rate this podcast? Shownotes http://senns.uk/Declaration_Interest.htm https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190260804.001.0001 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1913039116 https://doi.org/10.2307/2094423https://www.businessinsider.com/sergey-savitsky-alleged-attempted-murder-at-antarctic-bellingshausen-2018-10 https://doi.org/10.1080/03080188.2022.2150807

Duration:01:01:55

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Episode 31: Criticismus

4/5/2024
In this episode, we discuss the role of criticism in science. When is criticism constructive as opposed to obsessive? What are the features of fair and useful scientific criticism? And should we explicitly teach junior researchers to both give and accept criticism? Shownotes: https://lowi.nl/en/home/ https://doi.org/10.1111/bjop.12541https://wwnorton.com/books/9780393868050https://www.stat.berkeley.edu/~stark/SticiGui/Text/reasoning.htm https://doi.org/10.1007/s001800000040https://pubpeer.com

Duration:01:15:58

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Episode 30: Theoria Aedificans - Pars II

3/22/2024
In this episode, we continue discussing Dubin’s 8-step method for theory building. We discuss the measurement of theoretical constructs, using logical propositions to make falsifiable predictions from theories, and the importance of specifying boundary conditions. Shownotes https://doi.org/10.1037/h0034345 https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691617708630Norm Macdonald: The Professor of LogicRaven Paradox: https://platonicrealms.com/encyclopedia/Hempels-Ravens-Paradox https://doi.org/10.1126/science.83.2155.369

Duration:00:56:27

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Episode 29: Theoria Aedificans - Pars I

3/8/2024
In this episode we discussed the 8-step method of theory building proposed by Robin Dubin in his classic 1969 book Theory Building. Shownotes http://catalog.hathitrust.org/api/volumes/oclc/160506.html https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-006X.46.4.806https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Drake_Wrighthttps://doi.org/10.1177/1745691617693393 https://doi.org/10.1111/phc3.12879

Duration:00:52:26

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Episode 28: Scientia Cumulativa

2/23/2024
In this episode, we discuss the barriers to cumulative science, including inconsistent measurement tools, overreliance on single studies, and the large volume of research publications. Can replications, interdisciplinary collaborations, and prospective meta-analyses help us solve this issue? Can AI solve all our problems? And do most scientists treat their theories like toothbrushes? Shownotes https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4020-6279-7_10Special Issue: Multi-Study Methods for Building a Cumulative Psychological Science Becoming a Cumulative Science Why we need cumulative scienceScience and Skepticism

Duration:01:12:04

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Prologus 28: Chaos in the Brickyard (B. K. Forscher)

2/16/2024
A reading of: Forscher, B. K. (1963). Chaos in the Brickyard. Science, 142(3590), 339–339. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.142.3590.339

Duration:00:05:40

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Episode 27: Vocans Ictus Tuos - Pars II

2/9/2024
In today’s episode, we continue our conversation about preregistration. How flexible can we be when we preregister, without increasing flexibility in our analysis? How well do people preregister, and what does a good preregistration look like? And how do we deal with deviations from preregistrations? Shownotes https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.211037 https://doi.org/10.31222/osf.io/h8xjwhttps://lakens.github.io/statistical_inferences/10-sequential.htmlhttps://fdaaa.trialstracker.nethttps://quantitudepod.org/s3e07-in-defense-of-researcher-degrees-of-freedom/https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/ha29k

Duration:00:59:29

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Episode 26: Vocans Ictus Tuos - Pars I

1/26/2024
In this two part episode we discuss the fine art of preregistration. We go back into the history of preregistration, its evolution, and current use. Do we preregister to control the Type 1 error rate, or to show that we derived our prediction from theory a priori? Can and should we preregister exploratory or secondary data analysis? And how severe is the issue of severe testing? Shownotes ClinicalTrials.govAsPredictedOSFSPIRIT Checklist https://doi.org/10.1177/2515245918776632https://fdaaa.trialstracker.net https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/5hkjz https://doi.org/10.1177/25152459231187988 https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.211037 https://doi.org/10.1037/h0020412 https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/ekhc8

Duration:01:01:34

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Episode 25: Reverentia Ad Auctoritatem

1/12/2024
In the first episode of 2024, we discuss the double-edged sword: reverence to authority. Should scientists respect others on whose shoulders they stand? Or should they be wary of appeal to authority? How should scientists deal with other sources of authority in science, like for example, the government or academic societies? And how can we differentiate true expertise from mere authority? Enjoy. Shownotes http://archive.org/details/sciencesocialord0000barbhttps://slate.com/technology/2011/01/two-spaces-after-a-period-why-you-should-never-ever-do-it.html

Duration:00:51:23

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Prologus 25: The Fixation of Belief (C. S. Peirce)

1/5/2024
The Fixation of Belief. Charles S. Peirce. Popular Science Monthly 12 (November 1877), 1-15. http://peirce.org/writings/p107.html

Duration:00:32:52

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Episode 24: Contra Creativitatem Epistolae - Pars II

12/29/2023
In this second installment of The Anticreativity Letters, we continue discussing the Tempter's tactics for stifling creativity and how to overcome them.

Duration:00:42:20

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Episode 23: Contra Creativitatem Epistolae - Pars I

12/15/2023
In the first of a two-part episode, we discuss The Anticreativity Letters by Richard Nisbett, in which a senior "tempter" advises a junior tempter on ways to prevent a young psychologist from being a productive and creative scientist. Nisbett, R. E. (1990). The anticreativity letters: Advice from a senior tempter to a junior tempter. American Psychologist, 45(9), 1078–1082. https://www.bmj.com/about-bmj/resources-authors/article-types/christmas-issuehttps://www.goodreads.com/quotes/309485-nobody-tells-this-to-people-who-are-beginners-i-wish

Duration:00:48:07

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Prologus 23: The Anticreativity Letters (R. E. Nisbett)

12/8/2023
A reading of: Nisbett, R. E. (1990). The anticreativity letters: Advice from a senior tempter to a junior tempter. American Psychologist, 45(9), 1078–1082. https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.45.9.1078

Duration:00:35:55

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Episode 22: Magisterium

12/1/2023
In today’s episode, we discuss the role of mentorship in academia. What are the characteristics of a good mentor-mentee relationship? What are the qualities of good mentors and good mentees? Does mentorship play a role in the development of scientific knowledge? And could mentors and mentees benefit from couples therapy? Note: D.I.H.C is pronounced 'dick' but this is meant to be a family-friendly podcast :) Shownotes https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/emotional-fitness/201303/10-things-your-relationship-needs-thrive https://doi.org/10.1101/2023.05.05.539640

Duration:00:57:28

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Episode 21: Verifica Sed Confide

11/17/2023
In this episode, we discuss the role of trust in science. Why should we verify but trust other scientists? What are the prerequisites for building trust within the scientific community? Who is ultimately responsible for verifying our claims and practices that bolster those claims? And should we give personality tests to everyone who enters academia? Shownotes https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28059-2_8 https://doi.org/10.1037/met0000547 Duygu Uygun-Tunç https://uyguntunc.wordpress.com/2020/10/30/trust-and-criticism-in-science-part-i-critical-rationalism-instead-of-organized-skepticism/ https://doi.org/10.1525/collabra.74 https://doi.org/10.1038/480007a https://doi.org/10.1016/S0039-3681(02)00006-7

Duration:00:55:08

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Prologus 21: Role of Trust in Knowledge (J. Hardwig)

11/10/2023
In advance of our episode Verify but Trust, a reading of John Hardwig's paper The Role of Trust in Science.

Duration:00:46:57