Geography and the spread of knowledge

10/17/2012 | Atlantic Cities, The

The development of new ideas is influenced by time and place, according to author Samuel Arbesman, a fellow at Harvard University's Institute for Quantitative Social Science. "While we by no means understand everything about why certain places are poised to create new science and knowledge, there seem to be certain factors, such as population size, density and connectivity between individuals, and even the presence of universities," he notes in this interview. Arbesman also discusses how population size affects productivity and how ideas spread from place to place through social contacts.

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