Victoria Branch


Professional Development Seminar: Russell Thomson


From: Thursday April 27, 2017, 12:30 pm

To: Thursday April 27, 2017, 1:30 pm

Which field of research is the most important?

Gauss’s (1856) view that “Mathematics is the queen of science” may afford bragging rights to scholars in fields involving extensive mathematical formalism, but the practical implications for research management and science policy of are far from clear. Should policy prioritize mathematical scholarship in order to excel in natural sciences? More generally, to what extent is success in one discipline related to success in another, and which subjects play the most central role? We tackle these questions by analyzing comprehensive information on research output of the top 1000 high performing universities worldwide over a 20-year period. We measure synergies between research disciplines based on the revealed propensity of universities to perform highly in both disciplines concurrently. Preliminary results suggest that mathematics, and more recently the biological science, occupies a central position in the landscape of science. 


Associate Professor Russell Thomson specialises in the economics of science technology and innovation. He has published in leading international journals including the Review of Economics and Statistics, Strategic Management Journal and American Journal of Agricultural Economics. In addition to academic research Associate Professor Thomson regularly undertake applied policy research for clients including the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance. He holds a PhD in Economics from Australian National University and a BSc (Mathematics) from the University of Melbourne. 



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ESC Boardroom

Level 37, 2 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC 3000

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