Kevin Smith and John Hibbing are among the top 20 ‘most central’ researchers in their field

Kevin Smith and John Hibbing are among the top 20 ‘most central’ researchers in their field Monday, May 1, 2017

Infographic of political differences
Infographic of political differences

Nebraska’s political scientists Kevin Smith and John Hibbing are among the top 20 ‘most central’ researchers in their field, based on the research of two German scholars. The research included more than 67,000 articles published from 1990 to 2013 written by more than 40,000 political scientists around the world.

“When I read it, I had a very tongue-in-cheek reaction, and John had the same,” Smith said. “But it is pretty flattering and humbling to be included in that list with some of the most influential and productive scholars in our field.”

Hibbing and Smith have worked together for years researching the biological groundwork that influence people’s political stances. They have established impressive work, like the university’s groundbreaking Political Physiology Lab and co-authored an influential work on biology and politics, “Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences.”

Their work has gained so much popularity in the media, both have also been sited multiple times and are often asked to provide insight on political behavior.

“The idea of thinking about research output from more of a ‘network’ point of view was a novel and interesting take,” he said. “I was surprised but pleased that we were included, in that it suggests that our efforts to work with other scientists around the world to move political science in a more biological direction have had at least a little success.”

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