ABSTRACT

A large proportion of the time and eff ort of scientists is spent in activities that have no obvious place in the traditional model of “basic science discovery leading to application in a marketable product.” Some of this time is spent on basic science that does not lead to application in a marketable product; this can be assimilated, though very problematically, to the traditional model by regarding it as failed eff ort or the production of a diff erent kind of good, such as generally available scientifi c knowledge that can be seen as a “public good.” But an overwhelming proportion of the time and eff ort of scientists is spent on a series of activities that fi t neither the core model nor its variations: writing grant proposals, negotiating revisions of proposals, evaluating proposals; evaluating other scientists for promotions or appointments, writing and reading letters on their behalf; evaluating students and postdocs, in ways ranging from grading students in classes to making admissions and funding decisions about them; reading (as a peerreviewer) articles, notes, abstracts, and the like submitted for publication or to conferences, and evaluating (as an editor) the comments made by referees; evaluating other scientists for prizes or awards, membership in honorifi c bodies; serving as a consultant and evaluating proposals, scientists, or ideas for fi rms; performing site visits on behalf of funding agencies, accreditation agencies, and the like.