How Economics Shapes Science

Published on Jan 9, 2012
Paula E. Stephan36
Estimated H-index: 36
The beauty of science may be pure and eternal, but the practice of science costs money. And scientists, being human, respond to incentives and costs, in money and glory. Choosing a research topic, deciding what papers to write and where to publish them, sticking with a familiar area or going into something new--the payoff may be tenure or a job at a highly ranked university or a prestigious award or a bump in salary. The risk may be not getting any of that. At a time when science is seen as an engine of economic growth, Paula Stephan brings a keen understanding of the ongoing cost-benefit calculations made by individuals and institutions as they compete for resources and reputation. She shows how universities offload risks by increasing the percentage of non-tenure-track faculty, requiring tenured faculty to pay salaries from outside grants, and staffing labs with foreign workers on temporary visas. With funding tight, investigators pursue safe projects rather than less fundable ones with uncertain but potentially path-breaking outcomes. Career prospects in science are increasingly dismal for the young because of ever-lengthening apprenticeships, scarcity of permanent academic positions, and the difficulty of getting funded. Vivid, thorough, and bold, How Economics Shapes Science highlights the growing gap between the haves and have-nots--especially the vast imbalance between the biomedical sciences and physics/engineering--and offers a persuasive vision of a more productive, more creative research system that would lead and benefit the world.
  • References (0)
  • Citations (357)
📖 Papers frequently viewed together
3 Authors (Stefan Wuchty, ..., Brian Uzzi)
1,460 Citations
1,524 Citations
2,230 Citations
78% of Scinapse members use related papers. After signing in, all features are FREE.
Cited By357
#1Carolina CañibanoH-Index: 9
#2Pablo D'EsteH-Index: 20
Last. Richard WoolleyH-Index: 10
view all 4 authors...
#1Jeongeun Kim (ASU: Arizona State University)H-Index: 3
#2Molly Ott (ASU: Arizona State University)H-Index: 8
Last. Lindsey K. Dippold (ASU: Arizona State University)H-Index: 1
view all 3 authors...
Over 50,000 Ph.D. degrees in Science and Engineering (S&E) are awarded annually by United States (U.S.) universities, but few studies have systematically considered how the various aspects of doctoral training can influence the occupational outcomes of S&E doctoral graduates. This inquiry draws from the National Science Foundation’s Scientists and Engineers Statistical Data System to investigate how the characteristics of U.S. degree-granting departments and institutions are associated with doct...
Abstract Universities and other beneficiaries of public funding for scientific research are encouraged to patent resulting inventions under the Bayh–Dole Act. This controversial framework gives academic grant recipients a direct financial stake in the success of their inventions by requiring universities to share the resulting patent royalties with inventors. This incentive for grant recipients might help justify Bayh–Dole patents when the conventional justification for exclusivity—that it is ne...
#1Christophe Ancey (EPFL: École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne)H-Index: 35
ABSTRACTBy the late nineteenth century, the scientific study of bedload transport had emerged as an offshoot of hydraulics and geomorphology. Since then, computing bedload transport rates has attra...
1 CitationsSource
#1Hanna Hottenrott (TUM: Technische Universität München)H-Index: 1
#2Michael E. RoseH-Index: 1
Last. Cornelia LawsonH-Index: 10
view all 3 authors...
The affiliation to an institution provides prestige and identity to researchers and determines access to resources and infrastructure. Institutions in turn seek to affiliate researchers to secure their knowledge and skills, benefiting the research conducted within these institutions and their position in national and international rankings. This study documents the phenomenon of researchers having multiple affiliations and discusses potential causes and consequences. We analyze affiliation infor...
1 Citations
#1Amélie Groleau (Institut de la statistique du Québec)
#2Michael R. Smith (McGill University)H-Index: 10
ABSTRACTPrevious research has documented substantial overqualification and an association with social disadvantage and fields of study. Overqualification persistence has been less studied. Persiste...