Navigation Links
After 25 years, sustainability is a growing science that's here to stay
Date:11/21/2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Sustainability has not only become a science in the past 25 years, but it is one that continues to be fast-growing with widespread international collaboration, broad disciplinary composition and wide geographic distribution, according to new research from Los Alamos National Laboratory and Indiana University.

The findings, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, were assembled from a review of 20,000 academic papers written by 37,000 distinct authors representing 174 countries and over 2,200 cities. Authors of the paper, Los Alamos research scientist Lus M. A. Bettencourt, and Jasleen Kaur, a Ph.D. student in Indiana University Bloomington's School of Informatics and Computing, also identified the most productive cities for sustainability publications and estimated the field's growth rate, with the number of distinct authors doubling every 8.3 years. The study covered research generated from 1974 through 2010.

By analyzing the temporal evolution (distinct authors), geographic distribution, the discipline's footprint within traditional scientific disciplines, the structure and evolution of sustainability science's collaboration network, and the content of the publications, the authors ascertained that the field "has indeed become cohesive over the last decade, sharing large-scale collaboration networks to which most authors now belong and producing a new conceptual and technical unification that spans the globe."

While specialized fields like the natural sciences have generally been concentrated in a few cities in developed nations, Bettencourt and Kaur found that sustainability science had a very different geographic footprint.

"The field is widely distributed internationally and has a strong presence not only in nations with traditional strength in science -- the U.S., Western Europe and Japan -- but also elsewhere," Kaur said. "It is also perhaps surprising that the world's leading city in terms of publications in the field is Washington, D.C., outpacing the productivity of Boston or the Bay Area, which in other fields are several fold greater than that of the U.S. capital."

Countries producing sustainability publications of noteworthy magnitude were Australia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Brazil, China, India, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Turkey. Productive cities included London, Stockholm, Wageningen in the Netherlands, Seattle, and Madison, Wis.

When they dissected the discipline's footprint with respect to other fields contributing to sustainability science, social sciences accounted for 34 percent of the output, followed by biology with 23. 3 percent and engineering at 21.6 percent. Within each of those leading fields, the authors then identified leading subfields in each group: Environmental policy was 20.2 percent of the social science output; weed management was 16.8 percent of the biology total; soil science was 23.6 percent of the engineering total.

The authors also found that sustainability science had a strong presence in smaller universities and laboratories and that the field had received support from cities and nations that transcended locations more commonly recognized in terms of strength of scientific production.

"The presence of political and economic capitals, rather than traditionally more academic places is a common trend throughout the world," the paper noted. Regional centers with high production included Nairobi, Cape Town, Beijing, Melbourne and Tokyo.

"We believe that all of this evidence, when taken together, establishes the case for the existence of a young and fast-growing unified scientific practice of sustainability science," Kaur said. "And it bodes well for its future success at facing some of humanity's greatest scientific and societal changes."


'/>"/>

Contact: Steve Chaplin
stjchap@iu.edu
812-856-1896
Indiana University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Regeneration after a stroke requires intact communication channels between brain hemispheres
2. Scarring a necessary evil to prevent further damage after heart attack
3. Coneheads (Protura) of Italy: What we know in their native country after a century
4. Rutgers neuroscientist says protein could prevent secondary damage after stroke
5. The Murcian flower has been revived after 100 years
6. Worms among first animals to surface after K-T extinction event, CU-led study finds
7. Terrestrial biodiversity recovered faster after Permo-Triassic extinction than previously believed
8. Reefs recovered faster after mass extinction than first thought
9. UC San Diego biologists discover genes that repair nerves after injury
10. Gene linked with death after coronary bypass surgery
11. Scientists find easier, cheaper way to make a sought-after chemical modification to drugs
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
After 25 years, sustainability is a growing science that's here to stay
(Date:4/19/2016)... 20, 2016 The new GEZE ... compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for all door components. ... or the door interface with integration authorization management system, ... systems. The minimal dimensions of the access control and ... building installations offer considerable freedom of design with regard ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... March 31, 2016   ... or the "Company") LegacyXChange is excited to ... its soon to be launched online site for trading ... ) will also provide potential shareholders a sense ... technology to an industry that is notorious for fraud. ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... and SANDY, Utah , ... which operates the highest sample volume laboratory in ... Genomics and UNIConnect, leaders in clinical sequencing informatics and ... launch of a project to establish the informatics infrastructure ... NSO has been contracted by the Ontario ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/22/2016)... ... May 22, 2016 , ... Doctors in Rome say micronutrients found in ... malignant mesothelioma. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted an article on the new research. ... Department of Clinical Sciences and Translational Medicine evaluated more than 150 studies on polyphenols ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... 20, 2016 , ... Kablooe Design, a leading provider of product design and ... anniversary of the business. “We have worked hard to build long-term relationships,” says President ... privilege and honor of serving their product design and development needs through the years.” ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... , ... The recent recall by Costco and Trader Joes of 47 million ... 12, 2016(1), demonstrates the need for faster and more cost effective bio-threat detection to ... , PathSensor’s latest solution uses a biosensor technology called CANARY®. ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... , May 19, 2016  AdvancedFlow Systems Inc. ... (AGI), based out of Maple Ridge, ... Ltd. to its existing portfolio of contract manufacturing ... AFS along with its sister companies Surround Technologies ... vertically integrated industrial group that specializes in providing ...
Breaking Biology Technology: