In two recent studies, CI Senior Fellows James Evans and Andrey Rzhetsky built a network of millions of papers to ask an important question: is scientific research living up to its potential? Their analysis, conducted with UCLA's Jacob Foster and CI Director Ian Foster, found that science increasingly explores more incremental and conservative questions, avoiding the
Institutional and cultural pressures lead scientists to avoid risk-taking and choose inefficient research strategies, two new University of Chicago papers conclude. Despite increased opportunities for groundbreaking experiments, most scientists choose conservative research strategies to reduce personal risk, which makes collective discovery slower and more expensive.
A new analysis of nearly 4 million scientific articles finds that research is disproportionately focused on diseases that primarily afflict wealthy countries. Correspondingly, less research attention is given to diseases of the developing world, increasing global health disparities, concludes the study from the CI's Knowledge Lab, published in PLoS ONE.
The march of science is stumbling and easily sidetracked, fraught with bias, fads and dead ends. A new research initiative based at the University of Chicago and the Computation Institute will use the latest computational tools to scrutinize this imperfect path and better understand how knowledge was and is created. Such understanding could transform the process of research, calling out past missteps while revealing unanticipated new directions for the future.