Publication Type:

Journal Article


OMICS (2018)


<p>Diversity is increasingly at stake in early 21st century. Diversity is often conceptualized across ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual preference, and professional credentials, among other categories of difference. These are important and relevant considerations and yet, they are incomplete. Diversity also rests in the way we frame questions long before answers are sought. Such diversity in the framing (epistemology) of scientific and societal questions is important for they influence the types of data, results, and impacts produced by research. Errors in the framing of a research question, whether in technical science or social science, are known as type III errors, as opposed to the better known type I (false positives) and type II errors (false negatives). Kimball defined "error of the third kind" as giving the right answer to the wrong problem. Raiffa described the type III error as correctly solving the wrong problem. Type III errors are upstream or design flaws, often driven by unchecked human values and power, and can adversely impact an entire innovation ecosystem, waste money, time, careers, and precious resources by focusing on the wrong or incorrectly framed question and hypothesis. Decades may pass while technology experts, scientists, social scientists, funding agencies and management consultants continue to tackle questions that suffer from type III errors. We propose a new diversity metric based on the hitherto neglected diversities in knowledge framing for robust, responsible, and inclusive design of innovation ecosystems with foresight. The FDI would be positively correlated with epistemological diversity and technological democracy, and inversely correlated with prevalence of type III errors in innovation ecosystems, consortia, and knowledge networks. We suggest that the FDI can usefully measure (and prevent) type III error risks in innovation ecosystems, and help broaden the concepts and practices of diversity and inclusion in science, technology, innovation and society.</p>

Cite this Research Publication

V. Ozdemir and Springer, S., “What does "Diversity" Mean for Public Engagement in Science? A New Metric for Innovation Ecosystem Diversity.”, OMICS, 2018.