详细页 - 专题讲座 - SOE

How Humor Drives Science: Ig Nobel Prizes and Direction of Research

主讲人: Yin Li
主讲人简介:

Yin Li is Associate Professor at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Fudan University. His research interest focuses on economics of innovation, industrial policy, and emerging technology governance. His research has been published in leading innovation study journals, including Research Policy, Technovation, and JASIST. He has received research funding from National Natural Science Foundation of China and National Key R&D Program. Li holds a bachelor in economics from Renmin University of China, a MA in Economics from University of Massachusetts, and PhD in Public Policy from Georgia Institute of Technology. 

主持人: Ziyan Yang
简介:

We provide empirical evidence on how the direction of science is steered by scientist’s individual project choice, driven by task interest in “fun” research topics. We use the Ig Nobel Prize, an annual joke prize in science, as a lens on examining the extent to which increasing the “fun” of a field makes it relatively more attractive to scientists and induce more efforts in research, while ruling out several plausible alternative explanations for the increased attractiveness. Drawing on a unique dataset of scientific subfields linked to Ig Nobel winners between 1992 – 2009, we implement a Difference-in-Differences design to estimate the causal impact of the prize on scientists’ publications in subfields. We find the Ig Nobel Prize gives a significant boost to both quantity and quality of publications in the focal subfield without increasing research funding, indicating scientists are responding to the “fun” factor. We show the prize has a stronger effect on boosting new entries to focal subfields and on subfields linked to less visible publications, suggesting the additional “fun” factor is due to both the Ig Nobel Prize’s publicity and perceived novelty of the winning research. Our findings provide new evidence to support an old idea that science flourishes when scientists have the freedom to choose their pursuits.

时间: 2021-04-22(Thursday)16:40-18:00
地点: Room N302, Economics Building
主办单位: WISE & SOE, Xiamen University
承办单位: WISE & SOE, Xiamen University
类型: 系列讲座
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