As Science Evolves, How Can Science Policy?
AbstractGetting science policy right is a core objective of government that bears on scientific advance, economic growth, health, and longevity. Yet the process of science is changing. As science advances and knowledge accumulates, ensuing generations of innovators spend longer in training and become more narrowly expert, shifting key innovations (i) later in the life cycle and (ii) from solo researchers toward teams. This paper summarizes the evidence that science has evolved - and continues to evolve - on both dimensions. The paper then considers science policy. The ongoing shift away from younger scholars and toward teamwork raises serious policy challenges. Central issues involve (a) maintaining incentives for entry into scientific careers as the training phase extends, (b) ensuring effective evaluation of ideas (including decisions on patent rights and research grants) as evaluator expertise narrows, and (c) providing appropriate effort incentives as scientists increasingly work in teams. Institutions such as government grant agencies, the patent office, the science education system, and the Nobel Prize come under a unified focus in this paper. In all cases, the question is how these institutions can change. As science evolves, science policy may become increasingly misaligned with science itself – unless science policy evolves in tandem.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16002.
Date of creation: May 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Benjamin F. Jones. "As Science Evolves, How Can Science Policy?," in Josh Lerner and Scott Stern, editors, "Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 11" University of Chicago Press (2010)
Note: ED EFG PR
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- O3 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights
- O43 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Gnidchenko, Andrey, 2010.
"Defragmentation of Economic Growth with a Focus on Diversification: Evidence from Russian Economy,"
27113, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Andrey A. GNIDCHENKO, 2011. "Defragmentation Of Economic Growth With A Focus On Diversification: Evidence From Russian Economy," Theoretical and Practical Research in Economic Fields, ASERS Publishing, vol. 0(1), pages 45-85, June.
- Matthias Krapf, 2012. "Age and Complementarity in Scientific Collaboration," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2012-18, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.