Robust Social Science

The Workshop on Robust Social Science is scheduled to take place in St. Petersburg, Florida, from June 4 to 7.  Scroll down for venue information.

Goals and procedure

The workshop will focus on modern research methods — recent developments in methodology and statistics, and new techniques made possible by modern technology — that are more conducive to reproducibility. In particular, we will discuss how such methods can and cannot be applied in behavioral and cognitive science and how their use can be facilitated or encouraged.

The workshop will be attended by experts in research methodology and statistics (to discuss the methods) as well as domain experts in a variety of disciplines in psychology and cognitive science (to discuss their feasibility).

During the workshop, the assembled participants will be involved in a full-time collaborative project with two related goals. The first goal is to produce a small number of video lectures on the topics of robust design, robust statistics, emerging technologies, and model-based inference. All panelists will contribute to the production of one or more these video lectures. The second goal is to produce a “road map” document that outlines what we think are roadblocks to the widespread implementation of these modern research methods, and what (if anything) methodology researchers can do to make their methods more accessible. All panelists will contribute to the writing of this document.

More specifically, the role of each panel is to produce two “deliverables” by the end of the week. One is a set of slides that one group member will present (for around 30 minutes) as part of the end-of-week recording. The other is a draft (around maybe 1,000 words) of a sub-section of a planned opinion piece article. Both should address the topic the panel has been given, saying where the field is currently at, how it got there, and (mostly) suggestions for how it should move forward, and issues and challenges associated with future progress.

The conference structure allows all the time needed for each panel to prepare these deliverables, so panel members don’t need to do prior work on them specifically. Instead, panelists should prepare by thinking about the issues, using the target questions provided, but also identifying relevant issues that the target questions may have missed. You might also want beforehand to dig up relevant papers, blogs, talks, data sets, or whatever you think will help inform the panel discussions. You could also think about how the topic of your panel interfaces with the topics of the other panels, since part of the panel discussion structure for the week will involve various paired and plenary interactions between panels.


The workshop will be held at the Hyatt Place St. Petersburg/Downtown. To make a reservation using our group rate, you can call toll free 1-888-HYATT-HP (492-8847) and ask for the Robust Science rate. Alternatively, you can book online using the group code G-UCAI.

The nearest airports are Tampa (TPA) and St. Petersburg/Clearwater (PIE).  Applications are open now (via the link below) until May 4.