The network structure of scientific revolutions

Por • 26 oct, 2020 • Sección: sociologia

Harang Ju, Dale Zhou, Ann S. Blevins, David M. Lydon-Staley, Judith Kaplan, Julio R. Tuma, Danielle S. Bassett

Philosophers of science have long postulated how collective scientific knowledge grows. Empirical validation has been challenging due to limitations in collecting and systematizing large historical records. Here, we capitalize on the largest online encyclopedia to formulate knowledge as growing networks of articles and their hyperlinked inter-relations. We demonstrate that concept networks grow not by expanding from their core but rather by creating and filling knowledge gaps, a process which produces discoveries that are more frequently awarded Nobel prizes than others. Moreover, we operationalize paradigms as network modules to reveal a temporal signature in structural stability across scientific subjects. In a network formulation of scientific discovery, data-driven conditions underlying breakthroughs depend just as much on identifying uncharted gaps as on advancing solutions within scientific communities.

arXiv:2010.08381v1 [cs.DL]

Digital Libraries (cs.DL); History and Philosophy of Physics (physics.hist-ph)

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