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Hannah Rubin: Structural Causes of Citation Blindness

When:Tu 11-06-2019 16:00 - 17:00
Where:Room Beta

Hannah Rubin (Notre Dame) received her PhD from the Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science at UC Irvine and did a postdoc in Groningen. Her main area of research is philosophy of biology, with a particular focus on evolutionary explanations of social behaviors. She also has interests in game theory and general philosophy of science.

‘Citation blindness’ refers to the observed phenomenon that underrepresented and minority groups are less likely to be cited; they are overlooked in favor of citing members of a majority group even when the minority group member may have published the same results or arguments at an earlier point in time. While proposed explanations of this phenomenon include implicit and explicit biases, I will argue that structural causes may contribute to citation blindness as well. That is, because of the way the community is structured, in terms of who is connected to whom and how information about people’s work travels throughout the community, people may be less aware of work by minorities and underrepresented groups. I will present mathematical models to make this case and discuss my argument’s relevance to some proposed solutions of citation blindness.