IX.10 Science Phylomemy

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David Chavalarias

Jean-Philippe Cointet

Information scientists and colleagues at the Complex Systems Institute of Paris Ile-de-France David Chavalarias and Jean-Philippe Cointet have developed a method to automatically reconstruct representations of science evolution from the large-scale analysis of digital repositories: phylomemies. Analogous to phylogenies in biology, a phylomemy describes the transformations of scientific fields over time: from most simple events like field emergence or decline, to more complex transformation like field merging or splitting. This map presents, for the first time, a still partial representation of a phylomemy, related to Future and Emerging Technologies, built from the analysis of tens of millions of scientific paper metadata. The detailed phylomemetic branch presented on this map shows how the field of prosthetic science, after some experiments with implantable devices (neuroprosthesis), was revolutionized by its merge with the field of brain machine interfaces, which first arose a few years earlier. Phylomemies can also be used as high-level descriptions of science evolution that, once interfaced with digital libraries, offer new ways to browse large datasets of documents. To explore the full phylomemy depicted in this map, visit http://fetphylo.sciencemapping.com.


Callon, Michel, Jean-Pierre Courtial, and Francoise Laville. 1991. "Co-word Analysis as a Tool for Describing the Network of Interaction between Basic and Technological Research: The Case of Polymer Chemistry." Scientometrics 22:155-205.

Chavalarias, David, and Jean-Philippe Cointet. 2013. "Phylometric Patterns in Science Evolution: The Rise and Fall of Scientific Fields." PLoS ONE 8:2.

Chavalarias, David, and Jean-Philippe Cointet. 2013. Science Phylomemy. Paris, France. Courtesy of the Complex Systems Institute of Paris Ile-de-France (ISC-PIF), the Center for Social Mathematics and Analysis (CAMS-CNRS) and INRA-SenS. In “9th Iteration (2013): Science Maps Showing Trends and Dynamics,” Places & Spaces: Mapping Science, edited by Katy Börner and Todd N. Theriault. http://scimaps.org.

Acknowledgements: This exhibit is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. IIS-0238261, CHE-0524661, IIS-0534909 and IIS-0715303, the James S. McDonnell Foundation; Thomson Reuters; the Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center, University Information Technology Services, and the School of Library and Information Science, all three at Indiana University. Some of the data used to generate the science maps is from the Web of Science by Thomson Reuters and Scopus by Elsevier. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.