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Logics of spatial location of research: review and prospects

Logics of spatial location of research: review and prospects

What are the spatial patterns of development of research? At the level of a given country, to what extent is the distribution of research activities dependent on the urban hierarchy? Is there a relationship between the size of cities and the type of scientific activities that develop there?
These three apparently simple questions do not admit of any stabilised answers in the current academic literature.
This is due, firstly, to differences in definitions, since it is necessary to agree on what is meant by 'research activities' and on the methods and data that make it possible to measure their distribution. This can also be explained by the impossibility of providing answers that are valid at all times, in all places and for all types of scientific research, especially since the geography of research that can be observed today on the scale of a given country is the result of location logics that may have varied over time and space. As the urban hierarchy is not stable over time either, the co-evolution between research geography and urban geography must be taken into account. Finally, it reflects the limited communication between historians, economists, sociologists, and geographers interested in research activities - leading to seemingly irreconcilable positions in understanding and explaining the spatial logics of this sector of activity.
By considering existing knowledge on this subject, by working to unravel the terms used and by taking the case of contemporary French and British national research systems as a case study, this presentation offers to shed light on the spatial determinants of research and the reasons for the overrepresentation of these activities in certain categories of cities. It thus highlights the factors that explain, at the national level, the gap between the hierarchy of cities in terms of their research and the urban hierarchy expressed by the distribution of the urban population at a given date.

MarionMai

June 21, 2022
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  1. LOGICS OF SPATIAL LOCATION OF RESEARCH: REVIEW AND PROSPECTS MARION

    MAISONOBE, LABORATOIRE GÉOGRAPHIE-CITÉS MARION.MAISONOBE<AT>CNRS.FR Winslow Homer, 1895, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
  2. AN « INNOVATIVE ACTIVITY » ▪ Innovative activities concentrates in

    large metropolitan areas because research productivity is higher in large metropolitan areas (Bettencourt et al., 2007) VERSUS ▪ The largest cities became larger because these cities were successful in adopting many successive innovation (Evolutionary theory, Pumain et al., 2006)
  3. From Pumain et al., Cybergeo, 2006

  4. RELATION TO CITY SIZE Innovation stage according to Pumain et

    al. 2006 From Pumain et al., Cybergeo, 2006
  5. Metropolitan advantages from Bettencourt et al., 2007

  6. MAPPING THE GEOGRAPHY OF RESEARCH • R&D Employment • Patent

    data • Publication data • Citation counts Locales with at least one WoS publication between 2000 and 2013 (articles, reviews & letters) Crédit: L. Jégou et M. Maisonobe
  7. APPROACH BY INSTITUTION: EXAMPLE OF UNIVERSITIES IN A LONG TERM

    PERSPECTIVE William R. Shepherd: Historical Atlas, New York, Henry Holt and Company, 1923, in the Public Domain
  8. APPROACH BY INSTITUTION: EXAMPLE OF MARINE BIOLOGY STATIONS Clerc-Rampal, G.

    (1913) Mer : la Mer Dans la Nature, la Mer et l'Homme, Paris: Librairie Larousse, p. 129 Photograph from the Freshwater and Marine Image Bank, University of Washington
  9. SPATIAL DECONCENTRATION OF SCIENTIFIC PRODUCTION THE CASE OF FRANCE From

    Grossetti et al., EPJ Web of Conferences, 2020
  10. Proximity between the geography of universities and the geography of

    Research in France ▪ «The distribution of researchers in higher education, because it is globally linked to that of students (correlation coefficient of 0.995!), is increasingly modelled on the upper level of the French urban structure. » (Brocard, 1991, p.73); ▪ During the 1990s, «higher education facilities tended to become as widespread as the facilities in which compulsory education is completed » so that in the late 2000s, « all major complete higher education hubs are less than two hours' drive from other centres in their region or neighbouring regions» (Baron, 2010). Madeleine Brocard. La science et les régions : géoscopie de la France. In: RECLUS-La Documentation Française. 1991. ; Myriam Baron. Les transformations de la carte universitaire depuis les années 1960 : constats et enjeux. In: Le Mouvement Social, vol. 233, no. 4, 2010. pp. 93-105
  11. Maisonobe, Marion. «Regional Distribution of Research: The Spatial Polarization in

    Question». In Handbook Bibliometrics, par Rafael Ball, 377-96. De Gruyter Saur, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1515/97831 10646610-036 SPATIAL DECONCENTRATION OF RESEARCH: THE EUROPEAN SCALE FOR DIFFERENT METRICS
  12. CHANGE IN THE GLOBAL CONCENTRATION OF PRODUCTION BY CLASSES OF

    CITIES Most publishing cities 2000* 2003* 2007* 2010* 2013* Trend Top 10 17.1 15.8 14.7 14.0 14.1 Top 20 24.6 23.4 22.2 21.3 21.6 Top 30 30.2 29.0 27.5 26.6 27.1 Top 50 39.1 37.7 36.0 35.1 35.6 Top 100 52.8 51.3 49.8 48.7 49.2 Top 200 69.7 68.3 66.7 65.3 65.1 Top 500 89.6 88.4 86.7 85.0 84.4 Top 1000 96.7 96.3 95.5 94.6 94.2 Total 100 100 100 100 100 Share of the global total of publications (%) Source: Science Citation Index Expanded (articles, reviews and letters) *mobile average over three years Results of the NETSCIENCE project, Labex SMS, Toulouse, 2016 – D. Eckert, M. Grossetti , L. Jégou, M. Maisonobe, B. Milard See also: Les ancrages nationaux de la science mondiale: XVIIIe-XXIe siècle, Dir. M. Kleiche, 2018
  13. SCIENTIFIC PRODUCTIVITY AND CITY SIZE THE METROPOLITAN ADVANTAGE: LEGEND OR

    REALITY?
  14. From Nomaler, Frenken & Heimericks, Plos ONE, 2014 – US

    data What about productivity?
  15. None
  16. Marion Maisonobe. Géographie des activités de recherche et hiérarchies urbaines.

    Centralités et hiérarchies des réseaux et des territoires. Forthcoming. ISTE Editions. Michel Grossetti, Marion Maisonobe, Laurent Jégou, Béatrice Milard, Guillaume Cabanac. Spatial organisation of French research from the scholarly publication standpoint (1999-2017): Long-standing dynamics and policy-induced disorder. EPJ Web of Conferences, 2020.
  17. None
  18. THE CRITICAL MASS EFFECT IN QUESTION • Following the reports

    of University Alliance (2009 & 2011), we found no evidence of a size effect regarding the spatial distribution of scientific activities between urban areas (Grossetti et al., 2015, Handbook of geographies of innovation) • The spatial distribution of academics explains the spatial distribution of scientific activity (volume of publications per urban area) : • In France with a very good R2 (95%) - Grossetti et al., 2020 • In the UK with a very good R2 (88%) - Maisonobe, forthcoming → Agglomeration perimeters shared in Maisonobe, Jégou & Eckert, 2018, Cybergeo
  19. P. A. Balland, C. Jara- Figueroa, S. G. Petralia, et

    al. Complex economic activities concentrate in large cities. In: Nat Hum Behav, 4, 2020. pp. 248–254 Does complexity concentrate in metropolitan areas?
  20. None
  21. None
  22. None
  23. DISCUSSION • Influence of urban perimeters (Arcaute et al., 2015)

    • Regression method (OLS) (Leitão et al., 2016) + zero values (Finance & Cottineau, 2019) • Residuals (low R2) • Other determinants than the city size (spatial logics by institution) • Other ways of measuring a spatial concentration and its evolution • Promising method: a dominance tree approach to systems of cities (Louail & Barthelemy, 2022)
  24. POLICY IMPLICATIONS • Policy makers firmly believe in agglomeration effects

    favouring the metropolitan areas: « As the share of highly educated people tends to be larger in bigger cities, the productivity effects of city size and human capitals can thus reinforce each other » OECD, The Metropolitan Century, 2015, https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264228733-en • Demonstrating the lack of critical mass effects has important consequences as it invalidates the benefit of concentration of research funds and excellence policies targeting the biggest cities
  25. The World is spiky Florida, 2005 « The concentration of

    creative talents in a few hotspots able to connect to the global system of cities is intensifying from the
  26. Maisonobe, M., Jégou, L., & Cabanac, G., Peripheral Forces, Nature

    Index 563, S18-S19 (2018) https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-07210-6
  27. Taken from Maisonobe, 2021 Handbook Bibliometrics

  28. The GeoScimo website in french and english GEOgraphie de la

    production SCIentifique MOndiale URL : https://www.irit.fr/netscity An online tool (beta version) to analyse and map contemporary scientific networks at the city level