View More View Less
  • 1 Department of Management and Computer Science, University of Trento, Via Inama, 5, 38100 Trento, Italy
Restricted access

Cross Mark

Abstract

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, we compare alternative measures of generative and combinatorial creativity. Then, we generalize our results in a stochastic model of socio-semantic network evolution. The model predictions are tested with an extended set of rare diseases. 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 expanding 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.

  • Amabile, TM 1983 The social psychology of creativity Springer Berlin.

  • Barabàsi, A 2005 Network theory. The emergence of the creative enterprise. Science 308:639641 .

  • Bettencourt, L., Cintrón-Arias, A., Kaiser, D. I., & Castillo-Chávez, C., (2006). The power of a good idea: Quantitative modeling of the spread of ideas from epidemiological models. Physica A, 364, 513536.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bettencourt, LMA, Kaiser, DI, Kaur, J, Castillo-Chàvez, C, Wojick, DE 2008 Population modeling of the emergence and development of scientific fields. Scientometrics 75 3 495518 .

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Börner, K, Maru, JT, Goldstone, RL 2004 The simultaneous evolution of author and paper networks. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 101:52665273 .

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Brass, DJ 1995 Creativity: It's all in your social network CM Ford DA Gioia eds. Creative action in organizations Sage Thousand Oaks, CA 9499.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bruckner, E, Ebeling, W, Jiménez Motaño, MA, Scharnhorst, A 1996 Nonlinear stochastic effects of substitution: An evolutionary approach. Journal of Evolutionary Economics 6:130 .

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Burt, RS 2004 Structural holes and good ideas. American Journal of Sociology 110:349399 .

  • Cattani, G, Ferriani, S 2008 A core/periphery perspective on individual creative performance: Social networks and cinematic achievements in the Hollywood film industry. Organization Science 19 6 824844 .

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chen, C, Chen, Y, Horowitz, M, Hou, H, Liu, Z, Pellegrino, D 2009 Towards an explanatory and computational theory of scientific discovery. Journal of Informetrics 3 3 191209 .

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cowan, R, Jonard, N 2003 On the workings of scientific communities A Geuna AJ Salter WE Steinmueller eds. Science and innovation: Rethinking the rationales for funding and governance Edward Elgar Cheltenham 309333.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Csikszentmihalyi, M 1990 The domain of creativity MA Runco RS Albert eds. Theories of creativity Sage Newbury Park, CA 190212.

  • David, P 2003 Cooperation, creativity and closure in scientific research networks: Modeling the dynamics of epistemic communities J-P Touffut eds. Institutions, innovation and growth: Selected economic papers Edward Elgar Cheltenham 170206.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Denzin, NK, Lincoln, YS 1994 Handbook of qualitative research Sage Thousand Oaks, CA.

  • Fleming, L, Mingo, S, Chen, D 2007 Collaborative brokerage, generative creativity and creative success. Administrative Science Quarterly 52:443475.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fleming, L, Waguespack, DM 2007 Brokerage, boundary spanning, and leadership in open innovation communities. Organization Science 18 2 165180 .

  • Fontana, W. (2001). Novelty in evolution. Bioevolutionary concepts for NASA, BEACON.

  • Gilbert, N. (1997). A simulation of the structure of academic science. Sociological Research Online, 2 (2). Accessed May 31, 2011, from www.socresonline.org.uk/2/2/3.html.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Girvan, M., & Newman, M. E. J. (2002). Community structure in social and biological networks. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 99, 78217826.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Goffman, W 1966 Mathematical approach to the spread of scientific ideas. Nature 212:449452 .

  • Goffman, W, Harmon, G 1971 Mathematical approach to the prediction of scientific discovery. Nature 229:103104 .

  • Gould, R 1991 Multiple networks and mobilization in the Paris commune, 1871. American Sociological Review 56:193201 .

  • Guimerà, R, Uzzi, B, Spiro, J, Amaral, LAN 2005 Team assembly mechanisms determine collaboration structure and team performance. Science 308 29 697702 .

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Guy, J, Gan, J, Selfridge, J, Cobb, S, Bird, A 2007 Reversal of neurological defects in a mouse model of Rett Syndrome. Science 315:11431147 .

  • Hargadon, A, Sutton, RI 1997 Technology brokering in a product development firm. Administrative Science Quarterly 42:716749 .

  • Hennessey, BA, Amabile, TM 2010 Creativity. Annual Review of Psychology 61:569598 .

  • Jones, BF 2008 The burden of knowledge and the ‘death of the Renaissance man’: Is innovation getting harder?. Review of Economic Studies 76 1 283317 .

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kuhn, TS 1962 The structure of scientific revolutions Chicago University Press Chicago.

  • Kurzberg, TR, Amabile, TM 2000 From Guilford to creative synergy: Opening the black box of team-level creativity. Creativity Research Journal 13:285294 .

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lambiotte, R, Panzarasa, P 2009 Communities, knowledge creation and information diffusion. Journal of Informetrics 3:180190 .

  • Lane, D, Malerba, F, Maxfield, R, Orsenigo, L 1996 Choice and action. Journal of Evolutionary Economics 6 1 4376 .

  • Larkin, J., McDermott, J., Simon, D. P., & Simon, H. A. (1980). Expert and novice performance in solving physics problems. Science, 208 (4450), 1335.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Latour, B, Woolgar, S 1979 Laboratory life: The social construction of scientific facts Sage Thousand Oaks.

  • Laumann, E. O., Marsden, P. V., & Prensky, D. (1983). The boundary specification problem in network analysis. In R. S. Burt & M. J. Minor (eds.), Applied Network Analysis: A Methodological In-troduction (pp. 1834). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lotka, A 1926 The frequency distribution of scientific productivity. Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences 16:317323.

  • March, JG 2007 The study of organizations and organizing since 1945. Organization Studies 28:919 .

  • Merton, RK 1973 The sociology of science University of Chicago Press Chicago, IL.

  • Newell, A., Shaw, J. C., & Simon, H. A. (1959). The process of creative thinking. Santa Monica, CA: The RAND Corporation.

  • Newman, M. E. J. (2001). The structure of scientific collaboration networks. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 98, 404409.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Newman, MEJ 2004 Coauthorship networks and patterns of scientific collaboration. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 101 1 52005205 .

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Orsenigo, L, Pammolli, F, Riccaboni, M 2001 Technological change and network dynamics: Lessons from the pharmaceutical industry. Research Policy 30:485508 .

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Owen-Smith, J, Riccaboni, M, Pammolli, F, Powell, WW 2002 A comparison of US and European relations in the life sciences. Management Science 48 1 2443 .

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Padgett, J. F., & Powell, W. W. (2011). The emergence of organizations and markets. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press (forthcoming).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Perry-Smith, JE, Shalley, CE 2003 The social side of creativity: A static and dynamic social network perspective. Academy of Management Review 28 1 89106.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Poincaré, H 1921 The foundations of science The Science Press New York.

  • Powell, WW, Koput, KW, Smith-Doerr, L 1996 Interorganizational collaboration and the locus of innovation: Networks of learning in biotechnology. Administrative Science Quarterly 41 1 116145 .

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rinia, EJ, van Leeuwen, Th N, van Vuren, HG, van Raan, AFJ 1998 Comparative analysis of a set of bibliometric indicators and central peer review criteria. Research Policy 27:95107 .

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Roth, C, Cointet, J-P 2010 Social and semantic coevolution in knowledge networks. Social Networks 32:1629 .

  • Schumpeter, JA 1934 The theory of economic development Oxford University Press London.

  • Shalley, CE, Perry-Smith, JE 2008 The emergence of team creative cognition: The role of diverse outside ties, sociocognitive network centrality, and team evolution. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal 2:2341 .

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Simon, HA 1955 On a class of skew distribution functions. Biometrika 42 3–4 425440.

  • Simon, HA 1962 The architecture of complexity. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 106 6 467482.

  • Simonton, DK 1988 Scientific genius: A psychology of science Cambridge University Press Cambridge.

  • Simonton, DK 2000 Creativity: Cognitive, personal, developmental, and social aspects. American Psychologist 55 1 151158 .

  • Taramasco, C, Cointet, J-P, Roth, C 2010 Academic team formation as evolving hypergraphs. Scientimetrics 85 3 721740 .

  • Uzzi, B, Spiro, J 2005 Collaboration and creativity: The small world problem. American Journal of Sociology 111:447504 .

  • Valente, TW 1995 Network models of the diffusion of innovation Hampton Press Cresskill, NJ.

  • FCHD van den Beemt AFJ van Raan 1995 Evaluating research proposals. Nature 375:272 .

  • Watts, DJ 2002 A simple model of global cascades on random networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 99:57665771 .

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Weitzman, ML 1998 Recombinant growth. Quarterly Journal of Economics 113 2 331360 .

  • White, HC 1993 Careers and creativity: Social forces in the arts Westview Press Boulder, CO.

  • White, HD, Lin, X, Buzydlowski, JW, Chen, C 2004 User-controlled mapping of significant literatures. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 101:52975302 .

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wuchty, S, Jones, BF, Uzzi, B 2007 The increasing dominance of teams in production of knowledge. Science 316:10361039 .

  • Yin, R 1994 Case study research: Design and methods Sage Thousand Oaks, CA.