This project investigates complex systems consisting of many interacting components that cannot be simply studied by analyzing the properties of their constituents. One example of such a system is science itself, which can be seen as an interacting system of scholars, papers, and books.
The research will look at the structure and dynamics of scientific knowledge during the early modern period. The reference for my study is the Sphaera corpus — a network interaction of more than 350 editions of textbooks used to teach astronomy at European universities from the late fifteenth century to the mid-seventeenth century. The present project aims therefore to explore the mechanisms that led to the process of knowledge growth during this period of time and the emergence of homogenization and divergence of knowledge. To do this, it must research into communities of editions, the process of globalization, and the spread of existing knowledge in the corpus all across Europe.