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Dashun Wang named to Thinkers50 Radar List

List recognizes top 30 “management thinkers” to watch each year
Dashun Wang’s research takes scientific methods and turns them upon science itself.

Dashun Wang of the Kellogg School of Management has been hailed by Thinkers50 as one of the world’s preeminent management thought leaders.

Wang was chosen for the 2021 Radar List for his “refreshing ideas on how we think about — and do — science and innovation.”

“I’m deeply honored by this award,” he said. “It is a testament to all the hard work my team members and collaborators put in day in and day out — especially those by my students and postdocs. It is simply a privilege to have the opportunity to work and learn with them.”

Wang is a professor of management and organizations and the director of the Kellogg Center for Science of Science and Innovation, a multidisciplinary community of scholars and researchers in complexity sciences at Northwestern and around the world.

Founded in 2011, Thinkers50 is a leading resource that identifies and ranks “management thinkers” across the globe. Each year its Radar List comprises 30 people who are making significant contributions to the field. The organization characterizes this year’s class as “an amazing group of people who, we believe, will make an impact with their campaigning, their ideas, their research and their passion in the year ahead.”

In addition to his Kellogg role, Wang is a core faculty member at the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems and a professor by courtesy of industrial engineering and management sciences at the McCormick School of Engineering.

Turning science on science

His current research focus is on Science of Science, a quest to take scientific methods and turn them upon science itself. He aims to use and develop tools from complexity sciences and artificial intelligence to reveal the underlying patterns of innovation, failure and teamwork, and to broadly explore the promises of prosperity offered by the recent data explosion in science.

Related: Researchers find diverging paths between failure and success after first setback

Wang received the AFOSR Young Investigator award in 2016 and was lauded by Poets&Quants among its Best 40 Professors Under 40 in 2019. His research has been published in such general audience journals as Nature, Science, and more. It has also been featured in many global media outlets, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Financial Times and Harvard Business Review, among many others.

Most recently, Wang co-authored the paper “Unequal Effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Scientists,” which was included in Altmetric’s annual Top 100 list for most discussed research. Co-authors include Northwestern affiliate Yian Yin, a graduate research assistant at The Center for Science of Science and Innovation and a Ph.D. candidate in industrial engineering and management sciences at McCormick. This is the second year in a row Wang’s research was included in this list.

Emma Stanton is a content strategist at Kellogg.