, Volume 103, Issue 1, pp 267–299 | Cite as

Close to the edge: co-authorship proximity of Nobel laureates in Physiology or Medicine, 1991–2010, to cross-disciplinary brokers

  • Chris Fields


Between 1991 and 2010, 45 scientists were honored with Nobel prizes in Physiology or Medicine. It is shown that these 45 Nobel laureates are separated, on average, by at most 2.8 co-authorship steps from at least one cross-disciplinary broker, defined as a researcher who has published co-authored papers both in some biomedical discipline and in some non-biomedical discipline. If Nobel laureates in Physiology or Medicine and their immediate collaborators can be regarded as forming the intuitive “center” of the biomedical sciences, then at least for this 20-year sample of Nobel laureates, the center of the biomedical sciences within the co-authorship graph of all of the sciences is closer to the edges of multiple non-biomedical disciplines than typical biomedical researchers are to each other.


Biomedicine Co-authorship graphs Cross-disciplinary brokerage Graph centrality Preferential attachment 


Conflict of interest

The author declares that he has no conflicts of interest relevant to the present work.


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© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.528 Zinnia CourtSonomaUSA

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