Schlagwort-Archive: Price’s law

Doubling time

I always had the impression that whenever a scientific work group is growing too quickly, it is difficult to keep ethical and scientific standards. Maybe that’s even true on macroscopic scale? The paper “Age, Aging and Age Structure in Science” by Robert Merton & Harriet Zuckerman summarizes in 1972 (on p 498 of Merton’s collected works “Sociology of Science”) that

the population of scientists, with a doubling time of about fifteen years, is far outrunning the acceleration rate of increase in the general population.

and he quotes Derek Price “Little science, big science” p 19 that we

will soon have two scientists for every man, woman, child and dog.