“Initial Progress on the Science of Science,” Dashun Wang, Northwestern University
COMPUTATIONAL SOCIAL SCIENCE WORKSHOP
Abstract: 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.
Dashun Wang is an Associate Professor of Management and Organizations at the Kellogg School of Management, and (by courtesy) the McCormick School of Engineering, Northwestern University. At Kellogg, he is the Founding Director of the Center for Science of Science and Innovation (CSSI). He is also a core faculty at the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO). His current research focus is on Science of Science, a quest to turn the scientific methods and curiosities upon science itself, hoping to use and develop tools from complexity sciences and artificial intelligence to broadly explore the opportunities for innovation and promises of prosperity offered by the recent data explosion in science. His research has been published repeatedly in journals like Nature and Science, and has been featured in virtually all major global media outlets, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Bloomberg, Financial Times, The Today Show, Harvard Business Review, The Atlantic, World Economic Forum, Forbes, The Guardian, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe, among others. Dashun is a recipient of multiple awards for his research and teaching, including AFOSR Young Investigator award, Poets & Quants Best 40 Under 40 Professors, Junior Scientific Award from the Complex Systems Society, Thinkers50 Radar List, and more. His first book, The Science of Science, coauthored with Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, is forthcoming in March 2021.
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This workshop is cosponsored by the Center for the Study of American Politics (CSAP) and the Yale School of Management (SOM) with support from the Initiative for Leadership and Organization at SOM.