Size Matters (in a Word Cloud)

Astronomer Jim Geach at McGill in Canada put his coding skills to excellent use to create word clouds from the author lists of the top 500 astronomy papers (by citation counts) from ADS. He created clouds for each 15-year interval since 1905, I’ve shown the most recent 2 below. See his webpage for more info on how the images were created, and please complain to him if the size of your name looks smaller than your ego academic prowess.

The cloud for the last 15 years shows how the subject, or rather the citation counts, are dominated by extragalactic science. Also, not surprisingly, by men – high fives to the Drs. Kauffmann, Dunkley, Freedman, Faber, Ferrarese et al for heading up the women in the field in the last 15 years.

Author cloud, 1995-2011

 

Author cloud, 1980-1995