The Metrics of Science and Technology

The Metrics of Science and Technology

The Metrics of Science and Technology

The Metrics of Science and Technology

Synopsis

Dr. Geisler's far-reaching, unique book provides an encyclopedic compilation of the key metrics to measure and evaluate the impact of science and technology on academia, industry, and government. Focusing on such items as economic measures, patents, peer review, and other criteria, and supported by an extensive review of the literature, Dr. Geisler gives a thorough analysis of the strengths and weaknesses inherent in metric design, and in the use of the specific metrics he cites. His book has already received prepublication attention, and will prove especially valuable for academics in technology management, engineering, and science policy; industrial R&D executives and policymakers; government science and technology policymakers; and scientists and managers in government research and technology institutions.

Geisler maintains that the application of metrics to evaluate science and technology at all levels illustrates the variety of tools we currently possess. Each metric has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, but overall, metrics offer the best possible way to evaluate science and technology. He then finds that in general, science and technology have a positive effect on the human experience. Truly state of the art in the study of the metrics of science and technology, their outcomes and contributions to society and the economy, the book provides unique analyses of the academic world and its most useful metrics: the industrial science/technology research and development complex, and the government network of laboratories. For each, Geisler gives a comprehensive analysis of the main metrics and their best applications. His book is thus also usable in certain advanced undergraduate and graduate courses and seminars that treat technology and engineering management, project management in technology industries, and the evaluation of social and economic programs.

Excerpt

William Thomson, Lord Kelvin (1824–1907), is often quoted as saying that if something cannot be measured, then it does not really matter. Measuring the objects and the events in the world around us is not only a scientific necessity, but also the means to make sense of the complexity of natural phenomena. We continually live by measures of our surroundings. We measure the passage of time, the temperatures in our climate, our economic situations, and everything else with which we make contact.

In the organizational and managerial sciences, the measurement of phenomena and events becomes a crucial tool for understanding and for the study of such phenomena. Unlike the physical sciences, these branches of human knowledge are relatively less exact, and their quantities less measurable. Technology, its outcomes, the organizations that produce it, and those that are impacted by it fall into this category.

PURPOSE OF THE BOOK

This book is about the metrics in the evaluation and measurement of science and technology and their outcomes. Rather than simply listing the currently used measures and techniques, the book outlines the measurement of science and technology within the broader framework of the concepts of measurement, and the approaches used to evaluate the spectrum of activities we generally combine under the rubric of science . . .

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