Recruitment and accomplishment in fundamental science. A generalization of the "Giants, Pygmies" model

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By focusing on productivity in fundamental science and on the costs of realization of scientific potential, this analysis develops a multidimensional model of talent and its allocation to professions, generalizing an earlier, very simple two-sector, single-talent model (the "Giants, Pygmies" model). The more general model recognizes the unequal distributions of the various talents over the population and the dissimilar demands of various professions or occupations for particular types of talent. Both models lead to the conclusion that contributions to fundamental scientific knowledge and the scientific value of these contributions rise at a very slow and rapidly declining rate with increases in the relative size of the scientific cadre and that the opportunity costs of expansions of fundamental scientific activity rise rapidly as competing sectors are drained of talent. © 1990.

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Technological Forecasting and Social Change