Reader preferences for liberal or conservative political books also attract them to different types of science books, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Chicago, Yale, and Cornell. The result supports observations that the divisiveness of politics in the United States has spread to scientific communication as well, endangering the role of science as politically neutral ground.
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.