Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Sociology
There is a broad contemporary interest in innovation, how ideas interconnect (or fail to), and how they relate to organizational structures and research funding. Those interested in enhancing innovation have initiated policies, formal and informal, to quicken its pace, ranging from dramatic increases in federal funding to calls and moves to reshape longstanding organizational features of research universities and professional associations. In this dissertation, I examine some of these policies and their outcomes using tools from text analysis and network science. I first look at whether the doubling of the National Institute of Health’s budget between 1998 and 2003 enabled a scientific revolution. I then explore the prevalence of interdisciplinarity in dissertation committees and whether dissertations with interdisciplinary committee members tend to examine more novel topics. After this, I explore the prevalence and nature of interdisciplinary research collaborations among contemporary core demographers. I conclude by reflecting on how these chapters shed light on the production, organization, and advancement of knowledge.