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A sad proportion of “art/science” illustrations are more show than tool, evoking but not helping to explain the phenomena that are supposed to be their subjects. This map and variations on it are a distinct counterpoint: they are used daily as a tool by Dick Klavans to determine such things as which areas of science are most closely connected to one another, are most and least intellectually vital, or which scientific areas produce the most patents. Here’s an image on which he and I collaborated (again, with Kevin Boyack’s help & ISI’s data) that discusses the variations in how different nations pursue science.

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Taken on March 1, 2007