Rodrigo Liscovsky Barrera's profile

Rodrigo Liscovsky Barrera

SPS Department

Science, Technology & Innovation Studies

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1.61 Old Surgeons' Hall

High School Yards

Edinburgh, UK


I am a PhD candidate in Science, Technology and Innovation Studies. I hold an MSc by Research (with Distinction) in the same area, an M.Phil. in International Peace Studies (with Distinction) from Trinity College Dublin (Ireland) and a B.A. in Political Science with a major in International Relations from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain).

I held positions working in International Organisations based in Argentina and Spain where I have also worked in Academia. Nowadays, I work as a Tutor in a Q-step course, Analysing Social Networks with Statistics, and in other undergraduate courses at the School of Social and Political Science. 

I am interested in the application of data science techniques in the social study of science and technology and its combination with qualitative analysis. In my PhD project, I use bibliometrics and social network analysis along with qualitative research methods (interviews, documents and ethnographic observations) to understand the dynamics of scientific internationalisation in Latin America from a multi-level perspective. The project is jointly supervised by Niki Vermeulen and Tod Van Gunten from the University of Edinburgh and Alfredo Yegros from the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) of Leiden University (The Netherlands). This joint supervision is part of efforts to build collaborative linkages between the University of Edinburgh and CWTS-Leiden University.

Recent Professional Experience

  • Project Officer. International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policy (FIIAPP) (May 2015 - Sep 2016)
  • International Cooperation Project Officer. Organization of Ibero-American States (OIS-OEI) (Oct 2011 - Apr 2015)
  • Research Assistant. Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) (Sep 2013 - May 2015) 


  • PhD in Science, Technology and Innovation Studies, University of Edinburgh (2017 - ongoing)
  • MSc(R) (with Distinction) in Science, Technology and Innovation Studies, University of Edinburgh (2016 - 2017)
  • M.Phil. (with Distinction) in International Peace Studies, Trinity College Dublin (2010 - 2011)
  • B.A. in Political Science and Public Administration, Universidad Complutense de Madrid (2004-2009)

Awards and Funding

  • 2018: Digital Science Poster Prize (3rd position) at the 23rd International Conference on Science and Technology Indicators (STI) / Leiden, The Netherlands.
  • 2016-2020: Economic and Social Research Council Studentship (ESRC) 1+3 / Science, Technology and Innovation pathway) 
  • 2016-2020: Graduate School of Social and Political Science Special Award, Edinburgh University 
  • 2016: UK/EU Masters Scholarship, Edinburgh University
  • 2012: James Haire Memorial Prize for the best set of essays in International Peace Studies, Trinity College Dublin
  • 2008-2009: Erasmus Scholarship, Universidad Complutense de Madrid - Utrecht Universiteit

Research Interests

Social network analysis scientometrics bibliometrics Science policy Big data applied to social sciences Sociology of indicators

Teaching Experience

  • Workshop organiser: Introduction to Bibliometrics and Social Network Analysis. Jointly run with CWTS-Leiden University with the support of SGSSS Advance Training Fund (March 2018)
  • Tutor / Lab facilitator: Analysing Social Networks with Statistics (Honours/PG course) / 2018-2019
  • Tutor: Comparative Politics in a Globalized World (UG course) / 2018-2019
  • Research Skills for the Social Sciences: Data Collection (PG course) / 2019
  • Senior tutor: International Cooperation in Europe and Beyond (UG course) / 2017-2018
  • Tutor / Lab facilitator: Analysing Social Networks with Statistics (Honours/PG course) / 2017-2018
  • Tutor: International Cooperation in Europe and Beyond (UG course) / 2016-2017

PhD Title

Collaborate or perish: a multi-level social network analysis of scientific internationalisation in Latin America using a combination of methods in STS

PhD Supervisors

PhD Overview

Internationalisation has become increasingly important in both scientific and policy practices. International collaboration in science, a major component of internationalisation strategies, can take place at different levels and in a variety of forms. It can involve individual scientists, research institutions and even countries who come together to co-author a scientific paper, work in a joint international R&D research project or simply interact in digital platforms.

In recent decades, internationalisation has also occupied a central place in the policy agenda as countries started perceiving science and technology as a commodity and a key asset to compete internationally in the knowledge-based economy. In light of this, policy actors have become more concerned with producing quantitative information and developing scientometric indicators for monitoring the efforts to internationalise research systems. The development of indicators of internationalisation has constituted a priority for many countries yet their development and implementation is a field of which we have little knowledge.

Based on the concepts of Scientific and Technical Human Capital (Bozeman et al., 2001) and Resource-based Collaboration (Van Rijnsoever et al., 2008), I consider scientific internationalisation to be a multi-level phenomenon which unfolds across different levels simultaneously involving not only individual scientists but also research institutions who bring unique resources to their collaborative work as well as their social ties.

The aim of this research project is to study the contemporary dynamics of scientific internationalisation in Latin America in both epistemic and policy dimensions. From a methodological point of view, the study of scientific internationalisation, I argue, requires insights from both quantitative and qualitative methods and the reconciliation of both epistemologies in Science and Technology Studies.

Conference Proceedings:

Liscovsky Barrera, R. (2019) The Diffusion of Zebrafish in Latin American Biomedical Research. A Study of Internationalisation Based on Bibliometric Dynamic Network Data. In Proceedings of the 17th International Conference of Scientometrics & Informetrics (in press).

Liscovsky Barrera, R. (2018) Overcoming the divide in SSTI: a mixed method and multi-level analysis of internationalisation in South American biomedical research. In Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on Science and Technology Indicators (paper)

Book chapters:

Barrere, R., Liscovsky, R., Paredes, D. and Trama, L. (2015). Las tecnologías de propósito general en Iberoamérica: situación actual y tendencias comparadas de la I+D en nanotecnología, biotecnología y TIC in (RICYT) El Estado de la Ciencia: Principales Indicadores de Ciencia y Tecnología Iberoamericanos / Interamericanos. RICYT, Buenos Aires. (book chapter)


Wong, M. T. O.Leng, R.Viry, G.Liscovsky Barrera, R. and Garcia-Sancho, M. (2018) Human, yeast and pig genomics: sequence submissions and first sequence descriptions in the literature (1980-2015). [Data Collection]

Book reviews:

Liscovsky Barrera, R. (2019) Global transformations in the Life Sciences, 1945-80, Medical History, 63(4), Cambridge University Press (article

Liscovsky Barrera, R. (2019) The geography of scientific collaboration, Social & Cultural Geography, DOI: 10.1080/14649365.2019.1629157 (article)