JoM-EMIT New paper: "The Evolutionary Ecology of Science" by Marion Blute

From: Bruce Edmonds (
Date: Tue 05 Nov 2002 - 09:18:28 GMT

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                         The Evolutionary Ecology of Science
                                  by Marion Blute


    In the study of sociocultural/memetic evolution, approaches modelled on population genetics (e.g. Cavalli-Sforza and Feldman 1981) and on systematics/taxonomy (e.g. Hull 1988) have been prominent but the influence of evolutionary ecology has been slight. In the tradition of Toulmin (1972) and Hull (1988) this paper is about cultural evolution in science. In particular, it applies some principles of evolutionary ecology to the scientific process. The effects of density, scale, frequency and heterogeneity on various strategies of research and teaching in science are considered. In the future, the analysis should be extended to the sociobiology of science including the relationship between supervisors and their graduate and postdoctoral students and among peers e.g. publishing and other forms of social collaboration.

    Keywords: sociocultural evolution, cultural evolution, memetics, sociology of science, philosophy of science, science studies, evolutionary ecology

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