The sociologist of science, Joseph Ben-David, produced a well-known institutionalist account of the historical development of ‘the scientist’s role in society.’ Ben-David followed the emergence and institutional consolidation of science beginning in 17th-century Britain. Ideal social conditions encouraged expansion of the science system as a whole, while at the same time stimulating a geographic shift between ‘centers of learning’, which moved from Britain to France to Germany to the United States by the mid-20th century. This chapter treats Ben-David’s analysis as epistemologically homologous with world-systems analysis (WSA). Recognition of the limits of both WSA and Ben-David’s approach establishes an opportunity to reinterpret the evolution of scientific disciplines and the global political economy. In particular, one finds that the movement of science ‘capitals’ did not necessarily precede or follow the movement of economic capital and markets within the world system. This observation stimulates new explanations and redescriptions which highlight the determining role of codified knowledge in the organization of material power.