The Edge Effect

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Science Map

I know I've been a bad blogger lately. Besides actually making progress on my dissertation, I've been busy running arbordog. Still, I know that is simply no excuse for slacking here on the edge.

So by way of apology I present to you something extremely cool. This is a schematic showing relationships between different fields of science based on the publication and citation of their papers in journals.

The map is mostly intuitive but I am a bit surprised that "Social Scientists Don't Do Chemistry." On the diagram there doesn't appear to be a single link between social sciences and chem, but there are links between ss and physics, maybe even quantum physics.

I spent last weekend in a very sciency lab with C who was doing all sorts of chemistry in pursuit of archaeological knowledge. Not that I understand any of it, but there are a number of archaeologists and biological anthropologists who have deep interests in chemistry. Likewise there seems to be little link between ss and biology.

Of course the unknown here is how papers were coded. It may be that journals with the chem-heavy anthro were not used or that they were not considered social sciences for some reason.

The other interesting thing mentioned in the article is the closeness of computer science and social science. Ain't that nice?