Scientific Mobility and Economic Assumptions: From the Allocation of Scientists to the Socioeconomics of Network Transformation

Carolina Cañibano
Journal Science as Culture

This paper addresses the different interpretations of scientific mobility that derive from two very different sets of economic assumptions: evolutionary economic assumptions and neoclassical economic assumptions. The neoclassical model builds on an understanding of embodied scientific knowledge as ‘human capital’ which underpins a conceptualization of scientific mobility as a knowledge (re)allocation mechanism and therefore as a ‘drain-gain’ dynamics. In contrast, evolutionary economic assumptions lead to a conception of the value of embodied scientific knowledge as necessarily networked, and to understanding scientific mobility as a reconfiguration process transforming economic and science systems in uncertain ways that need to be specifically investigated.