Roberta Sinatra: Quantifying the evolution of scientific careers

Despite the frequent use of numerous quantitative in- dicators to gauge the professional impact of scientists, little is known about how scientific impact emerges and evolves in scientific careers. In this talk we present a series of findings from the analysis of a large-scale dataset of scientific careers. We tackle the following three questions:

  • How does impact evolve in a career?
  • What is the role of scientific chaperones in achieving high impact?
  • How interdisciplinary is our award system?

We show that impact, as measured by influential publications, is distributed randomly within a scientist’s sequence of publications, and formulate a stochastic model that uncouples the effects of productivity, individual ability, and luck in scientific careers. We show the role of chaperones in achieving high scientific impact and we study the relation between interdisciplinarity and scientific recognitions. Taken together, we contribute to the understanding of the principles go- verning the emergence of scientific success.

Roberta Sinatra

Assistant Professor of Data Science, IT University of Copenhagen

Roberta Sinatra is Assistant Professor at IT University of Copenhagen, and holds visiting positions at ISI (Turin, Italy) and Complexity Science Hub (Vienna, Austria). Her research is at the forefront of network science, data science and computational social science. Currently, she spends particular attention on the analysis and modeling of dynamics that lead to the collective phenomenon of success, with focus on science and art. Roberta completed her undergraduate and graduate studies in Physics at the University of Catania, Italy, and was first a postdoctoral fellow, then a research faculty at the Center for Complex Network Research of Northeastern University (Boston MA, USA). Her research has been published in general audience journals such as Nature and Science, and has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, The Economist, The Guardian, The Washington Post, among other major media outlets.