Cold Atoms – Hot Research: High Risks, High Rewards in Five Different Authority Structures

Grit Laudel, Eric Lettkemann, Raphaël Ramuz, Linda Wedlin, Richard Woolley

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    Bose-Einstein condensation is a scientific innovation in experimental physics whose realisation required considerable time and resources. Its diffusion varied considerably between and within five countries that were comparatively studied. Differences between countries can be explained by the variation in the national communities’ absorptive capacities, while within-country differences are due to the impact of authority relations on researchers’ opportunities to build protected space for their change of research practices. Beginning experimental research on Bose-Einstein condensation required simultaneous access to the university infrastructure for research and to grants. The former is largely limited to professors, while the latter made researchers vulnerable to the majority opinion and decision practices of their national scientific community.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationOrganizational Transformation and Scientific Change: The Impact of Institutional Restructuring on Universities and Intellectual Innovation
    EditorsRichard Whitley, Jochen Gläser
    Number of pages406
    ISBN (Print)978-1-78350-684-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Publication series

    NameResearch in the Sociology of Organizations
    PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Limited


    • METIS-304750
    • IR-91575


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