Meet the team: Interview with Jonathan Heppner

Team Sep 22, 2021

Today we are pleased to introduce you to Jonathan Heppner, our new marketing member who will be part of the Marketing Department. Jonathan prefers to work with his mind, debate different topics and yes! He practices yoga. Continue reading to know more about Jonathan!

Your name? (the real one! :)

Jonathan Heppner

Favorite movie?

Holy Mountain - by Alejandro Jodorowsky

Do you play music?

I am not very musically gifted. The hand coordination to play an instrument is too difficult for me. I prefer to work with my mind.

Last book you read?

Mind in Life- Evan Thompson

Do you have any hobbies or favorite sports? (curling is not allowed)

I love to play football and do yoga. Other hobbies of mine include reading, debating and traveling.

Tell us a bit more about yourself, how did you get into psychology?

Initially, I got into it because a friend of the family was a psychologist and I perceived their family to be richer than mine. So I thought if I learn psychology I will have a large income. However, then I learned about neurons in high school biology, and I was fascinated by the workings of neurons, synapses and neurobiology in general, especially in the eye. After that, I was more deeply interested in the study of psychology. Then, in 2013, I started a Bachelor’s in psychology at the University of Groningen and I got very disillusioned with the field. While biological psychology was still an interesting subject, developmental, social and applied psychology seemed very vague and confusing to me. It seemed like the state of the art of psychology was not very reliable. Professors would often say that psychology was still a young science and therefore, the results were sort of weak and vague. However, I was dissatisfied with that answer and felt reaffirmed in my critical suspicions, when through the work of the Center for Open Science the replication crisis became mainstream in 2015. After that I turned to Philosophy of Psychology to try and figure out how to solve the replication problem and put psychology on secure methodological foundations (more on this below).

What do you love about your profession?

I love working at Orvium, because it allows me to align my personal mission with its company mission. I see Orvium’s product as one way of solving the replication problems. Moreover, if I continue growing as a philosopher and scientist, then I can publish my own work on Orvium. With my contribution to Orvium, I am seeking to allow scientists to write about what they think is true openly, even if it disagrees with the current mainstream dogma (e.g. materialism). I believe that anonymous peer-to-peer review allows scientists to disagree with the mainstream, yet stay scientific. It is quite a challenge to draw the line between science and pseudoscience in a decentralized way, but I love creating solutions for this problem from a philosophy of science perspective. Lastly, I enjoy forging professional relationships with people in scientific publishing, because they are smart and interesting people.

What is your philosophy behind psychology?

Currently, I am finishing my master thesis in Philosophy of Psychology, humbly titled “The Real Reason for the Replication Crisis in Psychology”. It is based on the work of Edmund Husserl. Husserl points out that Psychology went wrong in naively copying its methods from Physics and should have developed its endemic set of fundamental concepts. In the future, I would like to build on this work and develop a positive account of a secure psychological theory and test it.

When it comes to psychology as practice my “philosophy” is to focus on empathy. My psychological interest is to understand others. I believe the deepest form of understanding is not conceptual but emotional, hence empathy provides the “highest resolution” of understanding.

What brought you to Orvium? What do you like about the product?

Back in 2017 when I first researched Bitcoin & Blockchain I realized it could decentralize the scientific processes. First I thought of a Journal where scientists can publish whatever they want and establish validity via peer review. Second, I thought of the need for decentralized funding distribution. Therefore, I was looking for companies, which use blockchain for peer-to-peer review and publishing. About Orvium’s product, I like that they not only enable peer-to-peer review but by serving as a social network they also enable much faster interaction and debate between scientists. In the long run, I see consensus algorithms (another name for blockchain) - as a scientific tool. Like the telescope or microscope allowed new scientific discoveries, a consensus algorithm could innovate scientific consensus keeping. Orvium is engineering this new tool and can unlock new forms of scientific consensus together with the scientific community.

Any funny/interesting stories that you can share from your time in Orvium?

I think the funniest moment for me was right on my first day. Due to Corona, I did not travel to Spain to work for Orvium in the office but remained in Leiden (Netherlands), where I study. So when I had my first day and “showed up” for work for the first time. I simply went to the library where I always go and for a moment I wasn't sure what it meant to “show up for work” in the digital age. By now the funny feeling has faded and I am used to connecting to the people at Orvium via the online channels.

Thank you very much for your honest answers Jonathan!

We love to have you on board and hope you enjoy your time with us at least as much as we do.

With this post now you know a bit more about our team. We hope you enjoyed it and remember to check our previous "meet the team" interview with Xabier Barguilla from the tech team.


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