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Appalachian Student Research Forum

Office of Research and Sponsored Programs

Keynote Speaker

 2015 Keynote Speaker

 Dr. Paula Stephan

Professor of Economics
Georgia State University

Research Associate
National Bureau of Economic Research


 picture of Dr. Paula Stephan

Paula Stephan is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the Board of Reviewing Editors, Science. Science Careers named Stephan their first "Person of the Year" in December of 2012 "honoring an individual who, during the past 12 months, has made an especially significant and sustained contribution to the welfare of early-career scientists."

Stephan has published numerous articles in such journals as The American Economic Review, The Journal of Economic Literature, Management Science, Nature, Organization Science, and Science. Her book How Economics Shapes Science was published by Harvard University Press, 2012. Her research has been supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Science Foundation.

Stephan currently serves on the National Research Council Board on Higher Education and Workforce and the Committee to Review the State of the Postdoctoral Experience for Scientists and Engineers. She is a member of the European Research Council's Expert Group on Key Performance Indicators. 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 has held visiting positions at Kathaolieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, Harvard University, International Center for Economic Research, Turin, Italy, and the Wizzenschaftszentrum fr Social Forschung, Berlin, Germany.A

Keynote Address Abstract

 How Economics Shapes Science

The talk explores how public research organizations and scientists respond to incentives and costs. It's a good news/bad news story: get incentives and costs right and one can enhance productivity and use resources more efficiently. Get them wrong and there are severe consequences for productivity and efficiency. Examples of how incentives and costs affect behavior are provided primarily for the United States. The discussion of costs examines how costs play a role in determining where research is done, how research is done, who does the research, the kinds of materials that are used, when the research is done and what research is done. The talk then focuses on the various forms that monetary and nonmonetary incentives take in science and how they shape the behavior of both scientists and the institutions where they work. It closes with a discussion of examples of areas where outcomes in science are inefficient. These include incentives for submitting papers to top tier journals such as Science and Nature, incentives for constructing new buildings, incentives that encourage scientists to be risk adverse, and incentives and costs that lead the United States to "overproduce" PhDs in a number of fields.


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