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Editor's Introduction: Scientific and Technical Human Capital

  • Barry Bozeman

    (School of Public Policy, Research Value Mapping Program - Georgia Institute of Technology)

  • Vincent Mangematin

    ()

    (MTS - Management Technologique et Strategique - Grenoble École de Management (GEM), GAEL - Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquée de Grenoble - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA) : UMR1215 - Université Grenoble Alpes - Grenoble II)

Human capital and social networks are the two pillars supporting scientists' and engineers' ability to contribute knowledge. Throughout their careers, scientists seek to enhance both. Human capital endowments include not only formal education and its representation in credentials but the actual scientific and technical knowledge, craft knowledge and technical skills. In science and technology the deploying of human capital in the production of scientific and technical knowledge is intensely and inevitably social. Science cannot be understood in purely cognitive terms. Social mechanisms undergird not only the production of knowledge but its distribution and use. Scientific and technical journals and conferences are social institutions, as well as intellectual property protections, grants and awards, job placement and career transitions which are governed by social institutions. Social networks are the means by which scientists and engineers traverse social institutions. Indeed, scientists and engineers are as dependent upon social networks as they are upon such tangible scientific tools as electron microscopes, supercomputers and synchrotrons. Research policy and management scholars have long recognized the importance of scientists' and engineers' human capital endowments and their social networks. It is surprising, though, how rarely the two are viewed as part and parcel of a single bundle

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Grenoble Ecole de Management (Post-Print) with number hal-00424506.

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Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published, Research Policy, 2004, 33, 4, 565-568
Handle: RePEc:hal:gemptp:hal-00424506
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://hal.grenoble-em.com/hal-00424506
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