December 3 Colloquium "Aging Scientists and Slowed Advance" -- Lingfei Wu

Lingfei Wu is a computational social scientist interested in discovering how innovation is made in Science and Technology and effective team mechanisms that accelerate this process. He will deliver a CS Colloquium talk on Friday, December 3rd at 2 p.m.

Location: Sennott Square room 5317 and on Zoom (password: pittcs2021, you must be signed into Zoom with your university account or chose "Sign in with SSO" to attend this meeting.)

Talk abstract:

What is the relationship between the demographic age structure of science and the character of scientific advances? Prior research focuses on star scientists, their dates, and rates of breakthrough success. Analyzing more than 2 million scholars across 46 million articles over the last 40 years, we show that for all fields, periods, and impact levels, scientists’ research ideas and references age with career age, and they become much more likely to criticize or ignore emerging work. Early success accelerates scientist aging; while shifting institutions and fields and collaborating with young scientists slow it. These patterns aggregate within fields such that those with a higher proportion of older scientists experience a markedly lower churn of ideas and stronger gravity towards the established literature, suggesting a universal link between aging, action, and advance.

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