The Science of Science and Innovation
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The Science of Science and Innovation

The Kellogg Center for Science of Science & Innovation is the first academic hub of its kind to bring together the world’s foremost experts in complex systems and network science to uncover fundamental patterns in careers, collaboration, the progress of knowledge, and more.

Here is a collection of faculty research and insights related to the science of science. For more information about the Kellogg Center for Science of Science & Innovation, visit

a science lab viewed through VR goggles

How the Metaverse Could Shape Science

Augmented reality has the potential to solve old problems—and introduce new ones. Is it time to establish guardrails?

bubble letters spelling ROI with scientific instruments floating in them.

Does the Public Benefit from the Scientific Research It Funds?

A new study quantifies how U.S. taxpayer-funded research is used in patents, media, and policy decisions.

a doctor speaks with a political reporter

Take 5: What We’ve Learned about Tackling Public-Health Crises

Covid-era research sheds light on how policymakers can guide the economy and the public through future emergencies.

New invention sits on a shelf unused.

Take 5: How to Improve the Odds of Breakthrough Innovation

Thorny problems demand novel solutions. Here’s what it takes to move beyond incremental tweaks.

Collage of sculptor's work culminating in Artist of the Year recognition

What Triggers a Career Hot Streak?

New research reveals a recipe for success.

pastry chef puts finishing touches on a cake

Take 5: How to Become an Expert in Something New

Turns out, there’s a “special sauce” that can help you get there. But expertise can also come with a curse.


How Has Covid-19 Shaped Scientists—and the Future of Science?

The global pandemic has changed how researchers work. The impacts will be felt for years.

Epidemiologist and Politician give news conference

How Well Does COVID Public Policy Align with Science?

In an era of misinformation, policy based on “dubious science” could mean a greater loss of life and economic hardship.

Scientists build a staircase from paper

Why Do Some People Succeed after Failing, While Others Continue to Flounder?

A new study dispels some of the mystery behind success after failure.

machine scientist with lab coat and clipboard

Meet Adam, the “Scientist” Who Never Sleeps

An excerpt from the book The Science of Science shows how robots may soon be able to run their own experiments—from start to finish.

scientists work from home

The Pandemic Has Slashed Scientists’ Productivity

The extent varies a good deal by field, but the single biggest factor is whether a scientist is caring for young children.

People using a new cell phone model.

A New Product Release Often Sets Off a Customer Frenzy. But How Long Does It Last?

When consumers replace the old with the new, surprising trends emerge. A new mathematical model can better predict long-term sales.

Scientists who experienced an early-career setback succeeded more in the long run, new research shows.

Take 5: The Upside of Failure

A look at the surprising benefits of striking out, and how to make the most of your mistakes.


What science can tell us about Building Great Teams

Assembling and managing successful teams is a core leadership skill, whether you are convening a temporary task force, managing a full department, or running a school fundraiser.

Scientists who experienced an early-career setback succeeded more in the long run, new research shows.

Early Career Failures Can Make You Stronger in the Long Run

A study of young scientists who were denied grants provides a striking example of why you should never give up.

A team with the same players keeps winning together.

For Teams, What Matters More: Raw Talent or a History of Success Together?

A study of professional sports teams suggests that one factor is clearly more important, but the best teams combine them both.

A team discusses something in one room while a solo researcher works on a problem next door.

Want to Revolutionize Your Field? You May Need to Rethink the Size of Your Research Team.

Large and small teams produce different types of breakthroughs, according to an analysis of 50 million patents, software products, and academic papers.

Science behind collaboration including spaces

The Science Behind the Growing Importance of Collaboration

Plus, ideas for designing spaces that encourage employees to team up in unique ways.


Who Gets Blamed When a Group Project Goes Wrong?

Here’s why consequences stick to some team members more than others, according to a new study of retracted academic papers.

Computational Social Scientists discuss solutions.

How Can Social Science Become More Solutions-Oriented?

A conversation between researchers at Kellogg and Microsoft explores how behavioral science can best be applied.

An artist has a hot streak in her career.

When You’re Hot, You’re Hot: Career Successes Come in Clusters

Bursts of brilliance happen for almost everyone. Explore the “hot streaks” of thousands of directors, artists and scientists in our graphic.

successful entrepreneurs are most often middle aged

How Old Are Successful Tech Entrepreneurs?

A definitive new study dispels the myth of the Silicon Valley wunderkind.

Scientific research leads to patents more often that expected.

The Surprisingly Short Journey from Ivory Tower to Patent Office

Scientific research leads to marketplace innovations more frequently and quickly than expected.

Due to the recency effect, an innovator bases her next career move off of previous experience in a similar knowledge space.

How Innovators Choose Their Next Career Move

There is an overarching pattern in how innovators, like Elon Musk, shift their focus over time.

Successful scientists hope their next paper will be a hit.

Why a Scientist’s Big Break May Be Just Around the Corner

Researchers, have hope: your most successful paper can occur at any point in your career.

Ownership of a professor's intellectual property shifts to the university.

What Happens to Innovation When the Financial Incentives Change?

There are ways to split the pie that encourage innovation.


Want to Work in Science? Men Have the Advantage

How gender discrimination affects hiring

A Virtuous Mix Allows Innovation to Thrive

The right mixture balances conventionality, novelty, and collaboration


Age and Great Invention

Scientists who make breakthroughs are older than ever

Science as Team Sport

Collaborating at a distance pays off

Related Book: The Science of Science
Learn more about how big data is being used to expand our understanding of science, careers, and much more in this new book from Kellogg's Dashun Wang, Associate Professor of Management & Organizations. The book is now available for preorder.