Small science on big machines
Patterns of collaboration and use of contemporary large neutrons and x-rays research infrastructures
Sweden is investing billions of Euros in the neutron facility ESS and the synchrotron facility MAX IV, both in Lund, and the experimental resources these facilities make available will most likely alter the dynamics of Swedish science dramatically.
How is contemporary science organized? What is the role of large research infrastructures? In this project, we analyze patterns of collaborations and productivity in science, and the role played by contemporary Big Science facilities.
On basis of previous research, this project assumes that contemporary large scientific facilities (big machines) used predominantly by academic groups as part of their ordinary research efforts (small science) have a transformative capacity: the instruments they brandish are cross-disciplinary in nature and have been proven to give rise to entirely new projects and collaborations across disciplinary, institutional and national borders.
The project has a strong significance in sociology of science, addressing both developments of an international science system, and the increased importance of research infrastructures; and is also highly relevant in a science policy context.
With statistical analysis of publication data and user data, the project will provide a first comprehensive insight into how scientists use contemporary, interdisciplinary research infrastructures, and into the role of infrastructures in the transformation of patterns of collaboration and productivity in science.