ben David's Analysis
The basic methodology used by Crawford and ben David goes back to Alphonse de Candolle(17), a Swiss naturalist, who counted the foreigners elected to membership of the 3 major Academies in London, Paris and Berlin. Dividing this by the population of the country concerned, he came up with a statistical measure of the 'unit scientific value' of their populations.
He can thus claim to be the inventor of modern scientometrics, with a procedure which was quantitative, hypothetico-deductive and comparative. He made an approach to the problem from the angle of the scientific community in a small peripheral country, with aspirations to central status. His analysis was restricted to approaching the various national scientific populations with a classification by religion, social class, family tradition; he did not get round to the institutional and organisational background in the national environment.
De Candolle concluded that 'the more the sciences progress, the more difficult it is for peripheral or newly civilised countries to do battle with the ones at the centre'. This early insight emerged again a century later as the main theme of the Ben-David analysis.
Ben-David added new dimensions to the analysis of the comparative development of science in differing national environments:
The 3 pioneering 'central' States retained their overall centrality, while the overall centre of gravity shifted about among them.
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