Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ever wonder how all the sciences fit together?

Did you ever wonder the the relationship between psychology and microbiology? Or ecology and architecture?

Researchers from Los Alamos have constructed a map of the relationships between different domains of science, based on the chain of clicks that people make as they navigate through academic journals. The maps splits science into different disciplines and shows the connections between them.

See the article here: http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0004803

My favorite is Figure 5, the "Map of science...". That figure puts Psychology and the social sciences pretty square in the middle of things and highly interconnected with most other domains. Does this reflect some bias of the researchers, the accessibility of some disciplines on the web over others, or the actual relationships in how people do research?

I also noticed that "Brain research" is a little tiny cluster down at the bottom, and "Brain studies" is another little cluster far to the left. Hmm... odd. It leaves me wondering a bit how these disciplines were determined.

Still, very interesting.