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Open Access Open Badges Editorial


F Schweitzer1 and A Vespignani23

Author Affiliations

1 ETH Zürich, Kreuzplatz 5, Zürich, 8032, Switzerland

2 Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Ave., Boston, Massachusetts 02115 USA

3 Institute for Scientific Interchange Foundation, Via Alassio 11/c, Turin, 10126 Italy

EPJ Data Science 2012, 1:1  doi:10.1140/epjds1

Published: 18 May 2012

First paragraph (this article has no abstract)

Science is changing, all the time. Some consider external factors to be the major driving force, such as new discoveries, or new technologies that provide deeper insights into known systems. Others consider internal factors to be more important, such as the never-ending search for eternal truths or, at least, for the theoretical unification of diverse observations. Yet others believe that science is a social endeavor and its evolution is governed by forces very similar to those that cause fashions to change, with new research topics seeming to catch our attention and established topics falling out of vogue. We have come to believe that all of these arguments apply, and that the various impacts on scientific progress are even mutually dependent. Fashionable topics co-evolve with technological advances, as do new discoveries with overarching theories.