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SLIS Ph.D. Student Receives NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

2011-04-11
Photo of Scott Weingart

SLIS doctoral student Scott Weingart will receive funding through the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) for 2011 through 2015. This program “helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity.”

The NSF is supporting Scott’s research on how changes in communication structures and technologies affect scientific discourse and collaboration. His undergraduate work in history of science and computer engineering at the University of Florida, with Professor Robert A. Hatch, started Scott thinking about how scientists’ interactions and accomplishments changed during the “Republic of Letters” in the 18th century. Now at IU, Scott is working with SLIS Professor Katy Börner and Professor Colin Allen in the History and Philosophy of Science department.

Scott will investigate three “hot spots” when, he posits, technological and social changes enhanced scientific activity: the advent of the printing press, the move from letters to journals for dissemination of scientific information, and the transition from print to digital scholarly communication. His overarching research interest is modeling and mapping the growth of science on a large scale – thematically, geographically, and temporally – hoping eventually to reveal what conditions yield the most rapid rate of discovery and innovation.

Professor Katy Börner, who chairs Scott’s doctoral committee, commented, “Scott joined CNS in Fall 2009 and in these less than 20 months, he
  • Was instrumental in the organization of a “Republic of Letters Data and Studies” workshop that brought together Charles van den Heuvel, Virtual Knowledge Studio for Humanities and Social Sciences, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Nicole Coleman, Stanford University, and Robert Hatch, University of Florida at CNS, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. The workshop subsequently led to an EU funded project entitled “The Republic of Letters: Epistolarium” in collaboration with the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences that was completed in summer 2010 under Scott’s leadership.
  • Considerably improved the documentation of the NSF funded Science of Science Tool that supports the temporal, geospatial, topic, and network analysis and visualization for the study of science; and taught hands-on workshops at international conferences.
  • Made major intellectual contributions to a paper entitled “Mixed Indicators Model for Identifying Emerging Research Areas” that is forthcoming in Scientometrics.

Scott’s intellectual curiosity, the impact of his fledgling research on early scholarly communication, and his ability to exploit synergies across disciplinary boundaries will gain even more momentum with the reputation of the GRFP.”

Posted April 11, 2011