, Volume 69, Issue 3, pp 615–637 | Cite as

Is chemistry 'The Central Science'? How are different sciences related? Co-citations, reductionism, emergence, and posets

  • Alexandru T. Balaban
  • Douglas J. Klein


According to a widely used introductory chemistry text by T. E. Brown et al.,1 chemistry is 'The Central Science'. But scientometric co-citation analyses indicate that biochemistry seems presently to be more interconnected to other sciences. On the other hand, mathematics is considered by many to permeate all sciences and hence might compete as the choice for centrality. A critical commentary and argument leads to a proposal for an alternative partially ordered hierarchical “framework” map of sciences. This argument is supplemented by a scientometric approach based on university course requirements for different curricula, so as to support our partially ordered map. This alternative “framework” mapping then is seen to indicate a special position for chemistry, as where significant branching begins.


Earth Science Computer Technology Physical Organic Chemistry Mathematical Chemistry Mathematics Requirement 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Akadémiai Kiadó 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandru T. Balaban
    • 1
  • Douglas J. Klein
    • 2
  1. 1.Texas A&M University at Galveston
  2. 2.Texas A&M University at Galveston

Personalised recommendations