Neurotree: Graphing the evolution of science through mentorship networks

An important, often disregarded, component of academic research is the transmission of ideas and methodologies across generations. Individuals developing scientific ideas are influenced by social and geographic constraints that are not related to the fundamental truths of the field. Understanding how these personal relationships create or destroy new ideas gives insight into a fundamental force driving research and the evolution of scientific knowledge. David and his team have built Neurotree, a website and dataset that currently tracks the mentor relationships for 40,000 neuroscientists. They will expand on this project by linking it to publication databases to understand how “mentorship influences the emergence and evolution of ideas and if this information can help trainees choose mentors.” This data about mentorship can easily be incorporated into the Metaknowledge Network’s existing data which links authors, journal publications, and web documents across many fields of research. This information will add a complementary perspective to the existing network of researchers.