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Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research

Does Science Advance One Funeral at a Time?

We examine how the premature death of eminent life scientists alters the vitality of their fields. While the flow of articles by collaborators into affected fields decreases after the death of a star scientist, the flow of articles by non-collaborators increases markedly. This surge in contributions from outsiders draws upon a different scientific corpus and is disproportionately likely to be highly cited. While outsiders appear reluctant to challenge leadership within a field when the star is alive, the loss of a luminary provides an opportunity for fields to evolve in new directions that advance the frontier of knowledge.

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Beteiligte Wissenschaftler

Prof. Christian Fons-Rosen, Ph.D. (MPI und Universitat Pompeu Fabra),
Prof. Pierre Azoulay, Ph.D. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology),
Prof. Joshua Graff Zivin, Ph.D. (University of California, San Diego)

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