Some questions about the large study based on 45 million articles and 3.9 million patents that claims Science is becoming much less disruptive

Concerning the study across six decades just published in Nature (link above) i wonder why the authors failed to control the size of the research teams, to test if the culprit is a worldwide decrease in the number of small research teams that are the ones responsible for disruption (Wu et al., 2019).

I also wonder if it was a good idea to test patents, just because it seems that the majority of the patents are just intellectual junk, at least according to an article published in The Economist. Not to mention that Blind et al. (2021) were the first to study long-term effects showing that standards, not patents, can be used as a proxy for the diffusion of innovative knowledge.

Last but not least, since academic inbreeding is detrimental to risk-taking in research (Horta et al. 2020), and since the physicist, Carlo Rovelli said not long ago, that only rebel scientists can be truly creative, and since disruptions in science require disconnection and discord (Lin et. al., 2022) i wonder if the aforementioned findings mean that the science community is failing to generate enough rebel scientists. It would be most ironic if science were unable to generate rebel scientists at the precise moment that scientists are being asked to join civil disobedience movements.

PS – I also wonder if the results of the aforementioned study would remain unchanged if the authors had utilized the new metric proposed in the recent paper entitled “Quantifying revolutionary discoveries: Evidence from Nobel prize-winning papers,” which was published 5 days ago and claims to be “the first metric to quantify revolutionary discoveries“.