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Lecture Series 2020: Science of Science in the Spotlight


The Science of Science in the Spotlight Lecture Series provides a forum for multi­disciplinary exchange and dialogue across the fields of higher education, bibliometrics, and science studies in Luxembourg. Through international visits and collaboration with leading experts in the rele­vant research fields and disciplines, the Lecture Series offers an ideal platform to bolster Luxembourg’s growing research expertise and current initiatives in the "science of science”, including diverse science and policy communities and the wider public. At the interface of different strands of research that have grown in Luxembourg over the past decade, the lecture series showcases emerging collaboration patterns within Luxembourg, across Europe, and globally. It provides opportunities to discuss cutting-edge research results in this highly innovative multidisciplinary field of research. The lectures stimulate debate on theoretical and methodological approaches and on data acquisition and analysis. Leading researchers visiting Luxem­­bourg will share their knowledge at the intersection of higher education research and science studies, bibliometrics—embedded in social and computational sciences more generally. Discussions relate to such topics as international higher education developments, science capacity-building, scientific knowledge production, research evaluation, collaborative net­works, and researcher mobility. A multidisciplinary series of events, these lectures provide diverse insights and solidify Luxembourg’s networks in this global field of research, to build new relationships, and to encourage a multidisciplinary, interfaculty, and interorganizational exchange with leading researchers from abroad.

Programme of the Lectures Series:




10.03.2020, 17:00-19:00

Luxembourg Learning Center Hub 2.02

Prof. Dr. Christine Musselin
(Directrice de recherche CNRS, Co-director of LIEPP "Higher Education and Research" Research Group, Sciences Po, Paris, France)

Effects of competition on universities. Building on the case of French universities

In France as in many other countries, higher education public policies aimed at increasing the level of competition between academics, research teams, training programs but also among universities.
Building on the French case, Christine Musselin identifies how these policies impacts on the internal government and the power relationships within universities, how they modify the higher education landscape, how they redefine what “good science” is and who is engage in this normative work. And how they affect the academic profession. She will also show that competition leads to new forms of cooperation and that this formalizes the increasing stratification of higher education systems.

Video of the lecture:


28.04.2019, 17:00-19:00

Remote session

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Glänzel
(Professor of Statistics at KU Leuven, Director of the Centre for R&D Monitoring, Belgium)

Building reliable bibliometric indicators for measuring research performance

This talk deals with the challenge of building and using bibliometric indicators in an evaluative context. The aim is to show how valid metrics for scientific information and research assessment can be developed and applied and what the main possible pitfalls in this process are. The talk is organized in seven chapters proceeding from the ‘perspective change’ that scientometrics has undergone in the last decades of the 20th  century and the strong interaction between metrics and information retrieval. The first two chapters deal with the use of suitable data sources and the quality and cleanness of data, including data retrieval and subject delineation. The following three chapters deal with methodological issues and are devoted to the explanation of important criteria of soundness of methodology, the discussion of the effect of subject granularity and aggregation level and finally to the extension of traditional indicators towards performance profiles. Special focus is laid on the use of composite indicators, notably in the context of ranking exercises (sixth chapter). The last chapter introduces the challenge of measuring impacts beyond scholarly communication including issues regarding the appropriate integration of data originated from heterogeneous sources.

Video of the lecture:


12.05.2020, 17:00-19:00

Remote session

Prof. Dr. Ludo Waltman
(Deputy Director, Professor of Quantitative Science Studies at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies at Leiden University, The Netherlands)

Research on research: An overview of the landscape and its connections to research policy

Many scientific fields and communities contribute to research on research, ranging from scientometrics, science and technology studies, and higher education studies to science of science, metascience, and many others. Based on a large-scale scientometric analysis combined with expert input from the recently established Research on Research Institute (https://researchonresearch.org), I will present a visual overview of the landscape of research on research, showing the different communities contributing to research on research and the various topics addressed by these communities. I will also discuss how research on research connects to research policy.

Video of the lecture:


09.06.2020, 17:00-19:00

Remote session

Prof. Dr. Chaomei Chen
(Professor of Information Science at Drexel University, USA)

The Role of Uncertainties in the Science of Scientific Knowledge

Tracking the growth of scientific knowledge is a challenging but integral part of scientific inquiries, scholarly communication, and science of science. Facts, consensus, confidence, and objectivity are among the most desirable elements and instruments in representing and communicating scientific knowledge. In this talk, I will present a promising analytic framework for the science of science research by focusing on the role of uncertainties at various stages of scientific inquiries. I will demonstrate how contradictions, controversies, inconsistencies, and a variety of other forms of uncertainties play fundamental roles in the growth and update of scientific knowledge. I will also illustrate how researchers may benefit from the uncertainty-centric perspective by revisiting key research questions that have been studied from conventional perspectives, especially with references to the interpretation and re-interpretation of emerging fields, intellectual landmarks, critical paths, turning points, and boundary-spanning bridges. 

Video of the lecture:


22.09.2020, 17:00-19:00

MSH, Black Box

Prof. Dr. Cassidy R. Sugimoto
(President International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics, Associate Professor of Informatics at Indiana University Bloomington, USA)

A science of science approach to examining gender disparities in science

Despite progress, gender disparities in science persist. Women remain underrepresented in the scientific workforce and under rewarded for their contributions. This talk will examine multiple layers of gender disparities in science, triangulating data from bibliometric data and social surveys to provide a broader perspective on the gendered nature of scientific communication. Science of science provides a novel lens to evaluate these issues, drawing upon theories from sociology of science and utilizing new developments in scientometrics. The work will examine the contributions to scientific articles, disparities in productivity, and the impact of scientific work. Factors from grant funding to parenting will be examined. The talk will close on a discussion of the science policy implications of this evidence as well as charting a trajectory for science of science that includes issues of justice and equity.



Q-KNOW Kick-Off Workshop

24.09.2020, 17:00-19:00

MSH, Black Box

Prof. Dr. Vincent Larivière
(Professor of Information Science at Université de Montreal, Canada)

The Impact of Social, Cognitive, and Organizational Determinants on Scientific Knowledge Production

Organizing Team: Dr. Jennifer Dusdal (FHSE), Prof. Dr. Justin J.W. Powell (FHSE), Prof. Dr. Stéphane P.A. Bordas (FSTM)

For further information, please contact Dr. Jennifer Dusdal.