‘Slowing Rates of Disruption,’ Decline in Scientific Breakthroughs, Researchers Stumped

The rate of scientific breakthroughs has been falling over the years, especially in the fields of physics and chemistry according to a recent study, with researchers unsure what is causing the phenomenon.

In recent decades, there has been an “exponential growth” in the volume of new technological and scientific knowledge, which created conditions necessary for major advances in those fields, states the study, published in Nature magazine on Jan. 4. But contrary to such expectations, the study found that progress is slowing down in several fields.

“You don’t have quite the same intensity of breakthrough discoveries you once had,” said Russell Funk, co-author of the study.

The research team looked at 45 million papers and 3.9 million patents. They used a new quantitative metric called the “CD index” to identify how papers and patents “change networks of citations in science and technology.”

The team found that papers and patents are increasingly less likely to push science and technology into newer directions, a trend that is breaking away from the past.

“We link this decline in disruptiveness to a narrowing in the use of previous knowledge, allowing us to reconcile the patterns we observe with the ‘shoulders of giants’ view,” the study said.

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Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

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