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Policy Forum
Research Funding

Science Funding and Short-Term Economic Activity

Expenditures from grant funds support many different types of workers and vendors across the nation.
Science
4 Apr 2014
Vol 344, Issue 6179
pp. 41-43

Abstract

There is considerable interest among policy-makers in documenting short-term effects of science funding. A multiyear scientific journey that leads to long-term fruits of research, such as a moon landing, is more tangible if there is visible nearer-term activity, such as the presence of astronauts. Yet systematic data on such activities have not heretofore existed. The only source of information for describing the production of most science is surveys that have been called “a rough estimate, frequently based on unexamined assumptions that originated years earlier” (1).

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References and Notes

1
National Research Council, Data on Federal Research and Development Investments: A Pathway to Modernization (National Academies Press, Washington, DC, 2010), p. 1.
2
Lane J., Bertuzzi S., Science 331, 678 (2011).
3
National Institutes of Health, “Biomedical research workforce working group report,” (NIH, Bethesda, MD, 2012); http://acd.od.nih.gov/biomedical_research_wgreport.pdf.
4
Stephan P. E., How Economics Shapes Science (Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, MA, 2012).
5
NSF, Higher Education Research and Development Survey, (NSF, Arlington, VA, 2013); http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/herd/.
6
Begley S., Newsweek, 14 January 1991, 44.
7
Lerner J., Stern S., Eds., The Rate and Direction of Invented Activity Revisited (Univ. of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2012).
8
Center for the Science of Science and Innovation Policy, “Empirical foundations of science and innovation policy,” workshop summary, Paris, France, 16 and 17 September 2013 (CSSIP, Washington, DC, 2013); http://cssip.org/login/september-workshop.
9
Furman J. L., et al., Nature 468, 757 (2010).
10
Owen-Smith J., et al., J. Policy Anal. Manage. 31, 741 (2012).

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Science
Volume 344 | Issue 6179
4 April 2014

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Published in print: 4 April 2014

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Acknowledgments

This research was supported by NSF SciSP Awards 1064220 and 1262447; NSF Education and Human Resources Award 1348691; NIH P01AG039347; and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Data were generously provided by the Committee on Institutional Cooperation and its member institutions. We thank W. Cheng, C. Jones, E. Klochikhin, and J. Staudt for research support.

Authors

Affiliations

Bruce A. Weinberg
Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), 53113 Bonn, Germany.
National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.
Jason Owen-Smith
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.
Rebecca F. Rosen
American Institutes for Research, Washington, DC 20007, USA.
Lou Schwarz
Factor 21, Arlington, VA 22201, USA.
Barbara McFadden Allen
Committee on Institutional Cooperation, Champaign, IL 61820, USA.
Roy E. Weiss
University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.
American Institutes for Research, Washington, DC 20007, USA.
Observatoire des Sciences et des Techniques, 75015 Paris, France.
Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée (BETA) University of Strasbourg CNRS, 6700 Strasbourg, France.
University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia.

Notes

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Corresponding author: [email protected]

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