, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 119–143 | Cite as

Historical scientometrics? Mapping over 70 years of biological safety research with coword analysis

  • A. Cambrosio
  • C. Limoges
  • J. P. Courtial
  • F. Laville


This paper relates the results of a co-word analysis of over 70 years of biological safety literature. The database used in this project is theSonger Safety Bibliography (SSB) which lists around 17 000 references. The results show biological safety to be a very fragmented field, characterized by the existence of several relatively independent foci of interest, none of which has been able to structure the field into a tight network. Early periods of activity were marked by the construction of the basic tools of biological safety practices. Those tools became a “robust package” which, in more recent periods, was used routinely. While the safety problems related to recombinant DNA research have received much attention in the general press, they do not seem to occupy a prominent place within the biological safety literature, at least the one compiled in SSB.


Early Period Recent Period Basic Tool General Press Safety Problem 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Cambrosio
    • 1
  • C. Limoges
    • 2
  • J. P. Courtial
    • 3
  • F. Laville
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Social Studies of MedicineMcGill UniversityMontreal(Canada)
  2. 2.Centre de Recherche en Évaluation Sociale des Technologies (CREST)Université du Québec à MontréalMontréal(Canada)
  3. 3.Centre de Sociologie de l'Innovation (CSI)École Nationale Supérieure des MinesParis(France)
  4. 4.Observatoire des Sciences et des TechniquesParis(France)

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