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ERIC Number: ED530186
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 387
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1095-3788-8
Big Science, Nano Science?: Mapping the Evolution and Socio-Cognitive Structure of Nanoscience/Nanotechnology Using Mixed Methods
Milojevic, Stasa
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles
This study examines the development of nanoscience/nanotechnology over a 35 year period (1970-2004) by mapping its social and cognitive structures using social network analysis, bibliometrics and document analysis, and following their changes in time. Mapping is performed based on 580,000 journal articles, 240,000 patents and 53,000 research grants that have been identified as nanotechnology-related by the creators of a field-specific digital library of bibliographic data (NanoBank). Empirical studies of entire disciplines over extended periods of time are rather challenging (due to the large amounts of data) and are subsequently rarely performed. This type of analysis is even more challenging with fields that are still forming and that are in a state of flux. The main research question this study aims to answer is: What are the structure and the dynamics of nanoscience/nanotechnology? Broadly defined, nanoscience/nanotechnology is a research field studying objects that have a size or structure of 1-100 nanometer. I approach nanoscience/nanotechnology as a heterogeneous sociotechnical network of people, ideas, documents and institutions. To map the social structure I separately study questions relating to networks (interrelationships) of nanoscience researchers. By studying social and cognitive structures of nanoscience/nanotechnology and their dynamics over time, I aim to enhance the understanding of its organization and development and to examine whether nanoscience/nanotechnology has formed as a cohesive scientific field or discipline. I identify three distinct phases of nanoscience/nanotechnology development: an early, pre-field stage (1970-1980), a building stage (1980-1990), and the stage in which the field has formed and further develops (1990-present). In the latest phase nanoscience/nanotechnology exhibits robust giant component and bicomponent and "small world" network properties. My results also indicate that nanoscience/nanotechnology exhibits properties of a transdisciplinary field. The methods I use are powerful tools to empirically study the emergence and the development of scientific fields/disciplines. My hope is that this study is just the first in a series of studies that explore the development of modern scientific fields/disciplines in general, and would ultimately help answer the big question driving my research program: How do modern scientific disciplines/fields form, organize and develop? [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A