Partner Event: How does economics shape science?


From: Wednesday August 16, 2017, 5:45 pm

To: Wednesday August 16, 2017, 7:30 pm

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 or a prestigious award or a bump in salary. The risk may be not getting any of that.

An on-going concern around the world is the relationship between funding for scientific research and resulting output.  One specific concern is the lack of risk-taking on the part of scientists. This risk aversion is arguably embedded in rules governing grants and the composition and practices of decision making bodies.  Another and related concern is efficient ways to provide funding for research.  Professor Paula Stephan, Georgia State University, is a global expert in the economics of science. She will draw on her extensive research to discuss how incentives and cost affect scientific behaviour around the world and the lessons for today.

Paula Stephan’s research interests focus on the careers of scientists and engineers and the process by which knowledge moves across institutional boundaries in the economy. Stephan currently serves on the National Research Council Board on Higher Education and Workforce. She served on the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council, National Institutes of Health, 2005-2009 and served on the Advisory Committee of the Social, Behavioral, and Economics Program, National Science Foundation, 2001-2008. She was a member of the European Commission High-Level Expert Group that authored the report “Frontier Research: The European Challenge.” She has served on a number of National Research Council committees including the Committee on Dimensions, Causes, and Implications of Recent Trends in the Careers of Life Scientists, Committee on Methods of Forecasting Demand and Supply of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers, and the Committee on Policy Implications of International Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars in the United States. Her research has been supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellow Foundation, and the National Science Foundation. Dr. Stephan graduated from Grinnell College with a B.A. in Economics and earned both her M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan.

Reserve your spot for this event by clicking here

Enquiries: Mitchell Adams


Swiburne University of Technology

AGSE207, AGSE Building, Swinburne University, 50 Wakefield Street, Hawthorn VIC 3122

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