Initial Progress on the Science of Science – Dashun Wang


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The increasing availability of large-scale datasets that trace the entirety of the scientific enterprise, have created an unprecedented opportunity to explore scientific production and reward. Parallel developments in data science, network science, and artificial intelligence offer us powerful tools and techniques to make sense of these millions of data points. Together, they tell a complex yet insightful story about how scientific careers unfold, how collaborations contribute to discovery, and how scientific progress emerges through a combination of multiple interconnected factors. These opportunities—and challenges that come with them—have fueled the emergence of a multidisciplinary community of scientists that are united by their goals of understanding science. These practitioners of the science of science use the scientific methods to study themselves, examine projects that work as well as those that fail, quantify the patterns that characterize discovery and invention, and offer lessons to improve science as a whole. In this talk, I’ll highlight some examples of research in this area, hoping to illustrate the promise of science of science as well as its limitations.

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