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How Economics Shapes Science

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  56 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 367 pages
Published January 9th 2012 by Harvard University Press (first published January 15th 2011)
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Stefanie
Oct 20, 2016 Stefanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-reader
Pros: really thorough research into the state of science re: economy. Plenty of background, compares many studies and frames the questions differently so you know how the askers were approaching it. Really great break-down of biases and who stands to benefit from current system or a re-framed system. For all that she says she specialises mostly in American science, there's still a decent coverage of international models.

Cons: Information is already kind of dated, though I know updated stats are
...more
Pete
Jul 15, 2013 Pete rated it really liked it
How Economics Shapes Science (2012) by Paula Stephan is a comprehensive study of how economics influences US Science. The book is specific in that it does not look at the European, English or Australian systems although the European and Asian Universities get some mention.
The book catalogues in considerable detail how money is spent on US science and how there has been substantial growth in the funding of life sciences in recent decades.
Stephan describes how economics can be used to look at ho
...more
Alexander Smith
I was actually given a copy of this book by the author. Dr. Stephan, a wonderful researcher, guided me to this (possibly for reasons more than my own development) as a more holistic survey of modern policy issues in economics of science.

It introduces the topic by giving a brief overview of the recognized incentives considered by scientists and how these have been used by policy and scientific epistemology to strengthen (1) the usefulness of scientific research, (2) the human development of the w
...more
Liam
Apr 30, 2012 Liam rated it it was amazing
"Scientists are motivated to do science by an interest in puzzles and by the recognition awarded success -- the ribbon. But it is not all about puzzles and riboon; gold is also involved." (34)

"The United States' reliance on staffing labs with postdocs and graduate students has contributed to itse eminence as a training center for foreign-born students." (70)

"Industry has the financial resources to stay on the cutting edge; the public sector increasingly does not. As one scientisit wrote, 'I have
...more
Mike Thicke
This is a good overview of how the economic circumstances of science---funding models, research costs, career advancement, etc.---affect its outcomes. Stephan is much less polemical than Mirowski Science-Mart: Privatizing American Science or Greenberg Science, Money, and Politics: Political Triumph and Ethical Erosion and thus is also more dry. There are a ton of useful facts here, but it is hard to describe the book as entertaining.

One potential issue with Stephan's very empirical approach to t
...more
Nick Huntington-Klein
An interesting topic, if rather dull in presentation. Anyone familiar with the workings of academic research, even those who don't work within STEM/Health themselves, will not find too many surprises in here. Although, it is interesting to be able to put some numbers and budgetary figures to well-known trends. If you're not familiar with the workings of academic research, there's more to learn from the book, but I'm not sure who of that group would actually be interested in reading it!
Natalie Lin
Jan 29, 2013 Natalie Lin rated it liked it
Shelves: economics
Stephan offers a compelling treatment of incentive structures for academic research with thought-provoking questions about opportunities to address inefficiencies. However, her analysis is simplistic in that it fails to account sufficiently for macro trends, broader policy implications, corporate R&D, and especially the role of venture capital in funding innovation. Her selection of industries under discussion is also rather narrow (and seemingly random).
Jysoo
Sep 20, 2015 Jysoo rated it really liked it
This book discusses the topic of research on research. Almost every aspect regarding the endeavor of research has been described, which includes motivation, equipment and material, funding, and employment. The book is certainly helping to understand the whole picture. On the other hand, you shouldn’t expect to find in-depth analysis (on almost any topic).
Llew
Jul 03, 2013 Llew rated it really liked it
ort of a lengthy scientific study, but it covers a lot and gets at the heart of the money that motivates and controls science and what gets studied.
Brett Simon
Dec 26, 2013 Brett Simon rated it really liked it
Overall, a very interesting book that offers a great perspective on the economic forces that shape, and are shaped by, scientific research and inquiry. A worthwhile read.
Steve
Feb 17, 2013 Steve marked it as to-read
This book was cited in the 25 Jan 2013 issue of SCIENCE (v 339) in the "News Focus" piece, "Shaking Up Science", by Jennifer Couzin-Frankel. {See notes in NOTEBOOKS, SIMPLENOTE or EVERNOTE.}
paszczak
paszczak rated it it was amazing
Mar 30, 2016
Ben
Dec 31, 2015 Ben rated it really liked it
Shelves: other, economics
Good overview.
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Lauren
Sep 28, 2013 Lauren rated it liked it
insightful but pedantic
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