school of information | university of michigan
I am an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan School of Information. My research focuses on the drivers of scientific innovation ("science of science"). I study how scientists communicate ideas to one another and the general public, and how these flows are shaped by status, culture, location, and technology. I also study how scientific organizations evaluate and select research projects to invest into. Methodologically, I employ a variety of tools from the computational social science toolkit, especially field experiments and quantitative analysis of administrative data.
The evaluation/selection stream of work aims to identify how the evaluation processes organizations use may unintentionally favor particular ideas or innovators. Projects include
Status bias in scientific peer review, and how to mitigate it
Incentives for exploration vs. exploitation
Benefits and costs of interdisciplinarity
The role of social capital in scientific success
The communication stream of work explores how exposure to others’ ideas depends on reading practices, co-location, conferencing and other channels of communication, and identifies how status and culture make some scientists’ ideas more visible than others’. Projects include
Gender and self-promotion in science
Conferences as a mechanism to spread ideas
Science and the media: What research is picked up by the media, and how is it covered?
Last but not least, I am interested in political polarization. I am studying how the physical places where individuals spend time provides (or doesn't) exposure to cross-partisan ideas.
Previously, I was a Postdoc at the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard (LISH). I received my PhD in Sociology from the University of Chicago, where I was a member of KnowledgeLab.
See my CV for papers and links.
Lab: DiscoveryLab, www.discolab.org
Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=DzSXZd9yYy8C
Advising: currently not accepting PhD students
Office: North Quad #3369, 105 S State St
Email: tepl @ umich . edu