Unknown, Not Hidden Figures in Science: The Role of Invisible Colleges


In general, most scientists are unknown to both the scientific and non-scientific communities of educated persons. The existence of this situation has important implications for scientific progress, the construction/creation of histories of science, and relevance of science in public education. Our main goal is to examine the reasons why most scientists are unknown, why they will remain unknown, and why these conditions are consistent with the fundamental methodologies as to how scientific work is actually accomplished. We conclude that the concept of “invisible colleges” (D. J. de Solla Price, “Little Science, Big Science”; Columbia University Press, 1963) can be applied to these problems and used to provide a consistent set of valid explanations for the resolution of these issues.

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