The Globalization of Science: The Increasing Power of Individual Scientists
National science systems have become embedded in global science and countries do everything they can to harness global knowledge to national economic needs. However, accessing and using the riches of global knowledge can occur only through scientists. Consequently, the research power of nations relies on the research power of individual scientists. Their capacity to collaborate internationally and to tap into the global networked science is key. The constantly evolving, bottom-up, autonomous, self-regulating, and self-focused nature of global science requires deeper understanding; and the best way to understand its dynamics is to understand what drives academic scientists in their work. We are particularly interested in the contrast between global science as a largely privately governed and normatively self-regulating institution and global science as a contributor to global collective public goods. The idea that science remains a state-driven rather than curiosity-driven is difficult to sustain. In empirical terms, we describe the globalization of science using selected publication, collaboration, and citation data from 2000-2020. The globalization of science implies two different processes in two different system types: the growth of science in the Western world is almost entirely attributable to internationally co-authored publications; its growth in the developing world, in contrast, is driven by both internationally co-authored and domestic publications. Global network science opens incredible opportunities to new arrivals—countries as well as institutions and research teams. The global system is embedded in the rules created by scientists themselves and maintained as a self-organizing system and nation-states have another major level to consider in their science policies: the global level. Globalization of science provides more agency, autonomy, collegiality, and self-regulation to scientists embedded in national science structures and involved in global networks.
global science, self-organization, international collaboration, autonomy, scientists, academic careers, globalization of science
Marek Kwiek, The Globalization of Science: The Increasing Power of Individual Scientists, forthcoming in: The Oxford Handbook of Education and Globalization. Edited by Paola Mattei, Xavier Dumay, Eric Mangez & Jacqueline Behrend. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2021