A Few Special Cases: Scientific Creativity and Network Dynamics in the Field of Rare Diseases
We develop a model of scientific creativity and test it in the field of rare diseases. Our model is based on the results of an in-depth case study of the Rett syndrome. Archival analysis, bibliometric techniques and expert surveys are combined with network analysis to identify the most creative scientists. First, alternative measures of generative and combinatorial creativity are compared. Then, we generalize our results and present a stochastic model of socio-semantic network evolution. The model predictions are tested with multiple networks of rare disease specialties. We find that new scientific collaborations among experts in a field enhance combinatorial creativity. Instead, high entry rates of novices are negatively related to generative creativity. By extending the set of useful concepts, creative scientists gain in centrality. At the same time, by increasing their centrality in the scientific community, scientists can replicate and generalize their results, thus contributing to a scientific paradigm.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2011|
|Date of revision:||24 May 2011|
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