My dissertation explores how scientists and scientific ideas traverse national borders in a globalizing world.
I examine these issues systematically and progressively in three substantive chapters, along with a concluding chapter. Each chapter is written as a solo-authored journal article, but is interconnected by their motivation and findings. Figure 1 offers a visual schematic for how the chapters are interrelated and build off of one another conceptually. My data primarily come from a unique version of Thomson Reuter’s Web of Science and ProQuest’s UMI dissertation database.
The chapters are interconnected based on how they conceptually address similar issues. For example, Chapter 2 is the flagship paper that Chapters 3 and 4 extend their arguments. Chapter 2 argues that structure and culture of academic disciplines render certain fields as more universal, or not localized to any one place, and others are more nationally provincial.
Building on this universality and provinciality distinction, Chapters 3 and 4 explore how structures that define the international system at the macro-level and how scientists’ mobility at the micro-level mitigate and shape this reality. Chapter 3 looks at the papers published by U.S. trained scientists over their careers to see how it is shaped by the various foreign national locales they traverse around the world. Chapter 4’s focus moves from individual scientists, their knowledge networks and their careers, to the relationships between nation-states that examine how the international system influences science in different countries.
Chapter 5 is an à suivre that addresses the juggernaut hidden behind modern science worldwide: globalization (Drori et al. 2002; Mallard, Paradeise, and Peerbaye 2010; Moore et al. 2011; Wildavsky 2012; Xie and Killewald 2012). Specifically, I look at the effects of globalization as it relates to the declining role that distance plays in knowledge flows in scientific research. If science is a global enterprise, with knowledge networks, mobility of scientists, and international influence, how is it evolving over time, given that many argue that distance and borders are becoming more irrelevant than ever? In doing so, I revisit many of the models I employ in Chapters 2, 3, and 4 to explore the role that distance and time play. In what follows, I outline each of my dissertation’s focal chapters.