Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Six Degrees of Cass Sunstein

Paul Edelman and Tracey George (Vanderbilt Law School) have co-authored a terrific article entitled "Six Degrees of Cass Sunstein: Collaboration Networks in Legal Scholarship" just posted on SSRN (my thanks to Larry Solum for the link). An abstract:

"Degrees of separation is a concept that is intuitive and appealing in popular culture as well as academic discourse: It tells us something about the connectedness of a particular field. It also reveals paths of influence and access. Paul Erdős was the Kevin Bacon of his field - math - coauthoring with a large number of scholars from many institutions and across subfields. Moreover, his work was highly cited and important. Mathematicians talk about their Erdős number (i.e., numbers of degrees of separation) as a sign of their connection to the hub of mathematics: An Erdős number of 2 means a scholar did not co-author with Erdős but did collaborate with someone who did (i.e., an Erdős 1). In this study, we examine collaboration networks in law, searching for the Legal Erdős. We crown Sunstein as the Legal Erdős and name a complete (as possible) list of Sunstein 1s and 2s."

The article is a terrific read, only deepening anyone's admiration for Sunstein. According to Edelmen and George, Sunstein has now produced about 500 works and he continues to make major contributions to virtually every field he has written on.

What is your Sunstein number?

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