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Keywords:

  • policy behavior;
  • networks;
  • scientists;
  • climate change

This study explores how a scientist's location in science-based policy networks can affect her policy-oriented behaviors. In particular, we hypothesize that those scientists who fill structural holes in their networks will be more likely than others to engage in policy-oriented behaviors. The network data are defined by scientists' coauthorship on policy documents regarding climate change in the Great Lakes. We employ a two-mode network analysis to identify clusters of scientists who coauthored similar documents, and relative to those clusters, we identify those who fill structural holes by bridging between clusters. We find that those scientists who bridged between clusters were more likely to engage in policy-oriented behaviors of policy advocacy and advising than were others in the network. This is an example of a link between network location and policy-oriented behavior indicative of the broader phenomenon of how individuals exert agency, given structural constraints.