Hi! I am neither an English teacher nor a native English speaker however I suppose you are correct in your interpretation. I would use "develops" if I was focusing on the nuts and bolts of the development of the field (e.g. how research is done, what kind of evidence researchers consider valid, etc). In turn, I would use "has developed" if I was focusing on the historical developments of the field from its begginings to the current time.
I hope this contributes to convey what you want to say.
Student or Learner