Our Featured Former Fellows Lunchtime Talk series continues next week on Oct.26 when we’ll be joined by Yann Benétreau-Dupin. Yann was a Postdoc Fellow at the Center during the 2016-17 year. What’s he up to these days? Find out below, and of course
join us for Yann’s talk.
1. Where are you now?
I now work as a Senior Editor for PLOS ONE, the large, multidisciplinary, open-access journal of the Public Library of Science (PLOS). As of this writing, I am working from home just a few miles away from my office—still almost empty because of the pandemic—in San Francisco.
I am also a visiting researcher at San Francisco State University, where I previously worked as a Visiting Assistant Professor right after I left the Center.
2. What are you working on?
At PLOS ONE, I oversee the peer-review process for some of the many thousand submissions we receive each year: I select submissions that are ready for peer-review, help ensure that our articles meet our publication criteria for rigor, ethics, and data availability. In short, I tackle the reproducibility crisis one paper at a time.
As one of two dozen staff editors, I help define the editorial policies of a multidisciplinary journal that welcomes all rigorous science, regardless of how novel or impactful the findings are. I work more specifically in the behavioral and social sciences team, along with psychologists, an economist, and a neuroscientist.
For instance, I recently led the development of registered reports as a new article type at the journal, a format whereby papers are reviewed both before and after the empirical part of the work so as to improve transparency in reporting and minimize publication bias (you can find more details about it here).
Occasionally, I have to follow specific submissions very closely, particularly when they deal with sensitive topics that could easily be misinterpreted in the media (see for instance this article on police deadly use of force for which we commissioned a formal comment to help contextualize the results).
With colleagues at SFSU (Isabelle Peschard and Chris Wessels), I am working on a book on the philosophy of risk. It should come to a bookstore or classroom near you next year or so, perhaps? This project grew out of an undergraduate class that works well to introduce students, non-majors in particular, to issues in epistemology, philosophy of science, but also ethics.
3. Favorite memory of The Center?
It’s difficult to pick just one favorite memory from my time at the Center, between the city of Pittsburgh itself, the vibrant philosophy community both at Pitt and CMU, an office window with Gothic arches, the incredible talk series, or a formal epistemology workshop on ignorance I was fortunate enough to organize with John Norton and Lee Elkin.
My favorite memory of the Center is probably the Fellows’ reading group weekly sessions where we talked in depth, in a collegial but lively way, about our research in progress, in turn.
4. Greatest non-professional achievement since leaving the Center?
I have become an amateur developmental psychologist (see photo).
5. Best book/movie/tv you’ve seen this year?
After more than a year trapped at home I feel like I have to answer Groundhog Day, no? Other than that, I found Michael Sandel’s Tyranny of Merit thought-provoking and unsettling (and somewhat uncomfortable), in a good way.