We (Hal Pashler, UCSD, hpashler at gmail and Alex Holcombe) are developing web-based software to help people interested in a scientific issue represent and inspect multiple competing hypotheses and the evidence which supports or fails to support each hypothesis.
One goal is to develop a tool that will help scientists wrap their minds around the state of a complex empirical debate more quickly and accurately than can be done by studying written review articles, commentaries, rebuttals, and so forth. Our software has been developed and tested in informal ways, and as our next step we want to get experts involved in real scientific debates to try it out and see how it works.
We are hoping to hire (probably in Southern California), part-time, a graduate student or similarly qualified person who is interested in scientific debate to oversee the implementation of some real debates. The person doesn’t have to be a software developer (we have one of those), but it would be good if they were generally tech-savvy and excited by internet tools. Clear communication and diplomatic skill will be essential in working with scientists trying out the software. Initial tasks will include writing documentation to guide real users in using the system, and helping to develop rules for structuring the use of the software by groups with very different views of controversial topics. We’d like to hire someone for six months at about 10-15 hours per week, to start. The project (currently funded mostly by NSF) could also potentially lead to publications, but our primary focus is on figuring out how to make the software maximally useful to people engaged in real debates. Anyone interested should email us.