Inderscience Publishers

Scientific and technical human capital: an alternative model for research evaluation

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We provide an alternative model for evaluating science and technology projects and programs. Our approach, a "scientific and technical human capital" (S&T human capital) model, gives less attention to the discrete products and immediate outcomes from scientific projects and programs - the usual focus of evaluations - and more attention to scientists' career trajectories and their sustained ability to contribute and enhance their capabilities. S&T human capital encompasses not only the individual human capital endowments but also researchers' tacit knowledge, craft knowledge, and know-how. S&T human capital further includes the social capital that scientists continually draw upon in creating knowledge - for knowledge creation is neither a solitary nor singular event. In sum, it is this expanded notion of human capital when paired with a productive social capital network that enables researchers to create and transform knowledge and ideas in ways that would not be possible without these resources. We review literature contributing to an S&T human capital model and consider some of the practical data and measurement issues entailed in implementing such an approach.

Keywords: human capital, social capital, R&, D policy, evaluation methods

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