A similar lesson emerges from a recent study led by Isaac Kohane, a researcher at Harvard Medical School. After analyzing more than 35,000 different peer-reviewed papers and mapping the location of every co-author, he found that scientists located closer together produced papers of significantly higher quality, at least as measured by the number of subsequent citations. In fact, the best research was consistently done when scientists were working within roughly 30 feet of each other—that is, when they didn't need to interact via screens.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Closeness and Productivity
Despite the phone and the internet and everything else, people still get more out of fact-to-face interactions than those at a distance. Consider this study of collaboration in scientific papers: