Nav: Home

Insights from putting science under the microscope

March 01, 2018

Theories, data and knowledge continue to accumulate and become refined across many scientific fields - but what do we know about science itself? In this Review, Santo Fortunato et al. highlight efforts to understand the "science of science," insights from which could be used to optimize the pursuit of knowledge and better society. Often, scientists may appear to be productive by adhering to research within their domain, publishing many studies within their specialized area; yet here the authors note that a focused agenda may limit a researcher's ability to sense and seize opportunities for developing new ideas that are required to grow the field's knowledge. For the bold who explore new avenues of research, the benefits can be great though: analyses of publications and patents consistently reveal that rare combinations in scientific discoveries and inventions tend to garner higher citation rates. Funding could be reallocated to better reflect the burden of disease and to proactively sponsor risky projects, the authors suggest. Of note, funding schemes that are tolerant of early failure, and which reward long-term success, are more likely to generate high-impact publications than grants subject to short review cycles. As well, the authors highlight ways in which collaboration can be beneficial, noting that teams are 38% more likely than solo authors to bring novelty into familiar knowledge domains. Some other "science of science" themes Fortunato et al. touch on include: size of teams, career dynamics of scientists, coauthor credits, and more.
-end-


American Association for the Advancement of Science

Related Research Articles:

More Research News and Research Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Reinvention
Change is hard, but it's also an opportunity to discover and reimagine what you thought you knew. From our economy, to music, to even ourselves–this hour TED speakers explore the power of reinvention. Guests include OK Go lead singer Damian Kulash Jr., former college gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.