Bernardo Buarque

No picture available

Bernardo Buarque

ORCID more info

GitHub more info

No associated GitHub account.

No bio entered.

Peer reviewed Historical Letters

Malte Vogl Bernardo Buarque Jascha Merijn Schmitz Aleksandra Kaye | Published Thursday, May 16, 2024 | Last modified Friday, May 24, 2024

A letter sending model with historically informed initial positions to reconstruct communication and archiving processes in the Republic of Letters, the 15th to 17th century form of scholarship.

The model is aimed at historians, willing to formalize historical assumptions about the letter sending process itself and allows in principle to set heterogeneous social roles, e.g. to evaluate the role of gender or social status in the formation of letter exchange networks. The model furthermore includes a pruning process to simulate the loss of letters to critically asses the role of biases e.g. in relation to gender, geographical regions, or power structures, in the creation of empirical letter archives.

Each agent has an initial random topic vector, expressed as a RGB value. The initial positions of the agents are based on a weighted random draw based on data from [2]. In each step, agents generate two neighbourhoods for sending letters and potential targets to move towards. The probability to send letters is a self-reinforcing process. After each sending the internal topic of the receiver is updated as a movement in abstract space by a random amount towards the letters topic.

We present a socio-epistemic model of science inspired by the existing literature on opinion dynamics. In this model, we embed the agents (or scientists) into social networks - e.g., we link those who work in the same institutions. And we place them into a regular lattice - each representing a unique mental model. Thus, the global environment describes networks of concepts connected based on their similarity. For instance, we may interpret the neighbor lattices as two equivalent models, except one does not include a causal path between two variables.

Agents interact with one another and move across the epistemic lattices. In other words, we allow the agents to explore or travel across the mental models. However, we constrain their movements based on absorptive capacity and cognitive coherence. Namely, in each round, an agent picks a focal point - e.g., one of their colleagues - and will move towards it. But the agents’ ability to move and speed depends on how far apart they are from the focal point - and if their new position is cognitive/logic consistent.

Therefore, we propose an analytical model that examines the connection between agents’ accumulated knowledge, social learning, and the span of attitudes towards mental models in an artificial society. While we rely on the example from the General Theory of Relativity renaissance, our goal is to observe what determines the creation and diffusion of mental models. We offer quantitative and inductive research, which collects data from an artificial environment to elaborate generalized theories about the evolution of science.

Under development.

This website uses cookies and Google Analytics to help us track user engagement and improve our site. If you'd like to know more information about what data we collect and why, please see our data privacy policy. If you continue to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies.