Research in Progress (RIP): "Age and Trying Out New Ideas"



Jay Bhattacharya, CHP/PCOR

Date and Time

February 25, 2015 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

FSI Contact

Nicole Feldman

All research in progress seminars are off-the-record. Any information about methodology and/or results are embargoed until publication.

Older scientists are often seen as less open to new ideas than younger scientists. We put this assertion to an empirical test. Using a measure of new ideas derived from the text of nearly all biomedical scientific articles, we compare the tendency of younger and older researchers to try out new ideas in their work. Our main finding is that, in biomedicine, papers published by younger researchers are more likely to build on new ideas. Collaboration with a more experienced researcher matters as well. Papers with a young first author and a more experienced last author are more likely to try out new ideas than papers published by other team configurations. Given the crucial role that the trying out of new ideas plays in the advancement of science, our results buttress the importance of funding scientific work by young researchers.