Conceptual Foundations for Multidisciplinary Thinking

By Stephen Jay Kline | Go to book overview

APPENDIX B
Two Standing Bets

The results of this book dispute overclaims that have long been seen as true by many disciplinary experts about what their particular discipline can do. Disciplinary experts have tended to dismiss, out of hand, comments from anyone who is not a "member of the club." This appendix therefore creates two standing bets, one for any interested physicist and one for any interested economist, in order to frame a public reconsideration of the relevant issues. These two communities are not the only ones that have made overclaims about the territory that their field of study can actually cover; that has occurred in many fields. Physics and economics were selected because the overclaims arising from these fields have had more effects in the twentieth-century world than those of some other disciplines.

In each bet the author offers $1,000.00 against $100.00 to any interested physicist for Bet A and to any interested economist for Bet B, as outlined below. The $ 1,000.00 for each bet will be escrowed, when the book is published, with the Wells Fargo Bank of California in a separate account. For each bet, a Judges Committee of three individuals will be appointed by the Publisher, Stanford University Press, in consultation with the author, but at the discretion of the Director of the Press. The Judges Committee, by majority vote, will decide in each instance whether the submitted materials meet or do not meet the requirements of the bet. Decisions of the Judges Committee will be final. Appeals of adverse decisions can be made by submission of an improved set of arguments with a new $100.00 ante. If $100.00 wagers are lost, the funds so created shall be utilized to support a fellowship in multidisciplinary study in Stanford's Science, Technology, and Society Program.

Each bet will stand either until some individual convinces the relevant Judges Committee that the author's views are wrong by submitting a proof of the ques-

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