Economic and social studies of scientific research: nature and origins
Interest in the role that science and scientific research play in economics and the other social sciences has exploded in the last fifty years. This attention undoubtedly reflects the increased importance that scientific research is contributing more and more to employment and economic growth, as well as the comparative advantage of countries. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the nature and origins of the studies which focus scientific research and organization (such as economics of science, sociology of science, managerial economics of research organizations, political economy of science, etc.). The paper shows as the foundations of this discipline are the works of Huxley, Bernal, Bush, Peirce, Polanyi, and Freedman and the success of the Manhattan and Rand projects (1930s-1950s) that symbolised the power of big science projects involving governments, scientists, industrialists and universities.
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