Everybody’s familiar with the idea of an academic lineage–you’re the “academic offspring” of your PhD supervisor. And perhaps of other mentors who also had a big influence on you. So you can imagine arranging academics into a sort of “phylogenetic tree” tracking lines of academic descent.
Question: how “phylogenetically conserved” are scientists’ views on controversial scientific questions? To what extent do mentees tend to share the views of their former mentors on controversial matters?
I’m particularly interested in cases in which there’s high conservatism not just of opinions, but of results. Are there any cases in which members of one “academic lineage” tend to obtain one sort of result, and members of another “lineage” do similar studies but yet tend to obtain different results than members of the first lineage? The first possible case that comes to mind is fluctuating asymmetry. Rich Palmer (1999) did a meta-analysis of the literature which asked (among other things) whether empirical studies by certain prominent authors tended to obtain different results than studies by other authors.
Sociologists of science must have studied this. Anyone know of any references (he asked lazily)?