On Evaluating the Scientific Contribution of the Apollo Moon Missions Via Information Theory: A Study of the Scientist-Scientist Relationship – Mitroff and Mason | Management Science

[Via David Ing. Academic paywall, unfortunately]

On Evaluating the Scientific Contribution of the Apollo Moon Missions Via Information Theory: A Study of the Scientist-Scientist Relationship

Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.20.12.1501

This paper describes the difficulties in evaluating large-scale scientific programs. These difficulties are illustrated through a single case study of the Apollo moon program. The paper describes some of the results of a three and a half year investigation into the beliefs of 42 of the most eminent scientists who studied the moon rocks. The effect of the Apollo missions on the beliefs of the scientists with respect to certain key scientific hypotheses is measured by means of information theory. The paper shows why greater collaborative efforts between the physical and the social sciences are required if there are to develop better tools of evaluation, and ultimately, if we are to develop more informed models of science. The study [Mitroff, Ian I. 1974. The Subjective Side of Science: A Philosophical Enquiry into the Psychology of the Apollo Moon Scientists. Elsevier, forthcoming.] on which this paper is based documents the tremendous role that “irrational” factors play in the attainment of scientific objectivity. We need better models of science that are based, if only in part, on what scientists actually do.

Source: On Evaluating the Scientific Contribution of the Apollo Moon Missions Via Information Theory: A Study of the Scientist-Scientist Relationship | Management Science