Research & Writing

I explore the nature and impact of scientific and technological change, informed by a background and expertise in complex systems. My work involves research and popular writing on these topics and ranges from quantitative science of science, how interdisciplinary thinking is changing the way we innovate, and how technological progress affects scientific discovery.

My research within these areas includes the examination of the science of science, the nature of productivity and prosocial behavior within cities, the structure and function of networks, and the mathematics of popular culture.

In addition to my scientific research, I write for popular audiences about topics related to science and technology. My work has appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Wired, New Scientist, and The Boston Globe, where I am a regular contributor to the Ideas section. In addition, I have a blog called Social Dimension at Wired. I recently completed a book about how knowledge changes over time, entitled The Half-Life of Facts (Current / Penguin).

I also created something called The Milky Way Transit Authority – a map of our galaxy in the style of a subway map – which you might have heard of.