Towards a study of the structure of the business & science social network of the 2nd Polish Republic

This proposition is inspired by observations of the Network Sunrise project led by one of the authors. It focused on building a B+R cooperation network in Poland. We found out that one of main reasons for the small number of B+R cooperation examples in contemporary Poland is the insufficiency of social relations between scientists and entrepreneurs. We are asking – is it a characteristic of polish culture or is this an artifact caused by the events of the past?

On the other hand the 2nd Polish Republic has seen many successful scientists-entrepreneurs, such as Jan Czochralski, Stefan Bryła or Karol Adamiecki. All of them co-operated with biggest companies in their fields providing them with innovation.

We hypothesize that here existed a well-structured network of social relations between scientists and entrepreneurs in the Second Republic of Poland that had a positive feedback on the economic development of the country, but it was structurally destroyed by the Nazi and Stalinist practices during and post – WWII. We present a social network theory based argumentation supporting this hypothesis.

Proving this hypothesis using archive material requires constructing a new data set and tackling new problems on the border between historical and social network research. In this proposition we describe our vision and plan for the research. We share preliminary results concerning well-connected individuals such as Jan Czochralski or Hugo Steinhaus. Finally we discuss problems and present ideas for solutions, asking for commentary of the scientific community working on historical social networks.