The Culture of Numbers

Measuring science has become an “industry”. Hundred of researchers worldwide and dozens of national bureaus of statistics produce regular data on scientists and their activities. How did we reach this point? How has an activity – science – long reputed to be unmeasurable come to be measured systematically all over the world?

The project on the Culture of Numbers aims to answer such questions. It looks at the socio-historical construction of statistics on science, technology and innovation from the nineteenth century and after, and the concepts behind the measurement :

  • What main events have led to the development of statistics on science?
  • What were the socio-political stakes behind this measurement?
  • What philosophical and ideological representations have driven the measurement?
  • What kind of statistics, indicators and methodologies have been constructed, and how?

Publications

Books

B. Godin (2009), The Making of Science, Technology and Innovation Policy: Conceptual Frameworks as Narratives, 1945-2005, Montreal: Centre – Urbanisation Culture Société de l’Institut national de la recherche scientifique, 212 p.

 

B. Godin (2005), Measurement and Statistics on Science and Technology: 1920 to the
Present,
London: Routledge, 2005. [translated in Chinese : Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China, 2007].

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B. Godin (2005), La science sous observation : cent ans de mesure sur les scientifiques, 1906-2006, Presses de l’Université Laval. [« Selected Book », Commentaires (journal funded by Raymond Aron), Autumn 2006].

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working Papers and Publications

Godin, Benoît Official Statisticians as Conceptual Innovators, International Review of Sociology, special issue on “European Politics of Numbers: Sociological Perspectives on Official Statistics in Europe” (Guest editor: Francesco Antonelli), 26 (3), 2016: 1-17.

B. Godin and J. Lane (2014), Making and Remaking the Measurement of Science and Technology: the International Dimension, In Maximilien Mayer, Mariana Carpes and Ruth Knoblich (eds.), The Global Politics of Science and Technology (II): Perspectives, Cases and Methods, 163-177. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Available at http://books.google.ca/…

B. Godin (2013), Mesurer la science: une histoire à raconter In Penser la valeur d’usage des sciences, edited by de Olivier Glassey, Jean-Philippe Leresche et Olivier Moeschler, 19-36. Paris : Édition des archives contemporaines.

B. Godin (2013), The Institutionalization of Statistics on Science Revista Entornos, 26 (1), 2013: 43-53

B. Godin and J.P. Lane (2012), A century of talks on research: what happened to
development and production?
, International Journal Transitions and Innovation Systems, 2 (1): 5-13. Available at www.inderscience.com/…/

B. Godin and J. Lane, Research or Development? A Short History of Research and Development as Categories, Originally published in German in Gegenworte, Special Issue on Basic vs Applied Research, November 2011 (www.gegenworte.org).

B. Godin (2011), Taking Statistics (More) Seriously:
The Measurement of Science, Technology and Innovation and its Future
, Montreal: Centre – Urbanisation Culture Société de l’Institut national de la recherche scientifique, 35 p.

B. Godin (2011), The Culture of Science and the Politics of Numbers, in M. Martin W Bauer, Rajesh Shukla and Nick Allum (eds), The Culture of Science – How the Public Relates to Science Across the Globe, New York, Routledge.

B. Godin (2010), The Culture of Numbers: From Science to Innovation. Talk Given to the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (GUIRR), US National Academy of Sciences, Washington, 21 May, 2010, GUIRR Leadership Dinner.

B. Godin (2009), Making Science, Technology and Innovation Policy: Conceptual Frameworks as Narratives, Paper no. 41. Presented at the Polish Academy of Sciences, Committee for the Science, Warsaw, Poland, 2 December 2008. Published in RICEC, 1 (1).

B. Godin (2009), « Un siècle de mesure de la science », Pour la Science (French version of Scientific American), no. 380, June 2009.

B. Godin (2008), The Culture of Numbers: Origins and Development of Statistics on Science, Technology and Innovation, Working Paper no. 40, Project on the History and Sociology of Statistics on Science, Technology and Innovation. Published in Portuguese and English in Electronic Journal in Communication, Information and Innovation in Health (RECIIS), 2 (1), 2008: 7-18. Paper presented at:1) séminaire de la Chaire Fernand Dumont sur la culture, Québec, 11 décembre 2006; 2) Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue, 17 September 2007, Vienna, Austria; 3) “Seminar on Research and Higher Education Policy in Europe and in Czech Republic”, Czech Technical University, Prague, Czech Republic, 27-28 November 2008; 4) Main Statistical Office, Warsaw, Poland, 3 December 2008.

B. Godin (2008), The Making of Statistical Standards: The OECD and the Frascati Manual, 1962-2002,  Series on the History and Sociology of Science, Technology and Innovation Statistics, Paper no. 39, 55 p.

B. Godin (2008), The Information Economy: the History of a Concept Through its Measurement, 1949-2005, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Working Paper no. 38, 85 p. A shorter version has been published in History and Technology, 24 (3), September 2008, pp. 255-287.

B. Godin (2008), The Knowledge Economy: Fritz Machlup’s Construction of a Synthetic Concept, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Working Paper no. 37, 33 p. Published in: The Capitalization of Knowledge. A Triple Helix of University-Industry-Government. 2010.

B. Godin (2007), National Innovation System: The System Approach in Historical Perspective, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Working Paper no. 36, 34 p. Published in Science, Technology, and Human Values, vol. 34, no 4, 2009, p. 476-501. Paper presented at: 1) Workshop on “The Changing Role of Universities in Innovation Systems”, Center for Advanced Studies, Norwegian Academy of Sciences, Norway, Oslo, 26-28 March 2008; 2) Workshop « Journée Jean-Jacques Salomon », Paris, France, 5 december 2008.

B. Godin (2007), What is Science? Defining Science by the Numbers, 1920-2000, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Working Paper no. 35, 59 p. Published in Russian (two parts) in Foresight, 2 (10) and 3 (11), 2009.

B. Godin (2006), The Value of Science: Changing Conceptions of Scientific Productivity, 1869-circa 1970, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Working Paper no. 34, 43 p. Presented at the ENID / PRIME International Conference “Indicators on Science, Technology and Innovation: History and New Perspectives”, Lugano, Switzerland, 16-17 November 2006. Workshop “La science sur mesure”, Neuchatel, Switzerland, 4-5 February 2010. Published in Social Science Information, 48 (4), 2009: 547-586.

Jean-Jacques Salomon (2006), CNAM, France, Why Sustain Fundamental Research ?, 12 p. Presented at the ENID / PRIME International Conference “Indicators on Science, Technology and Innovation: History and New Perspectives”, Lugano, Switzerland, 16-17 November 2006.

G. Sirilli (2006), ISSiRFA, Italiy, Developing science and technology indicators at the OECD:
the NESTI network
, 16 p. Presented at the ENID / PRIME International Conference “Indicators on Science, Technology and Innovation: History and New Perspectives”, Lugano, Switzerland, 16-17 November 2006.

A. Young and G. Westholm, The Participation of the Nordic Countries in the Early Development of OECD Science and Technology Statistics, 9 p. Presented at the ENID / PRIME International Conference “Indicators on Science, Technology and Innovation: History and New Perspectives”, Lugano, Switzerland, 16-17 November 2006.

B. Godin (2006), ” James Cattell mesure la science “, La Recherche, octobre 2006, no. 101, pp. 54-57.

B. Godin (2006), De l’eugénisme à la scientométrie, 17 p.

B. Godin (2006), Statistics and Science, Technology and Innovation Policy: How to Get Relevant Indicators, Communication presented at the OECD Blue Sky II Conference “What Indicators for Science, Technology and Innovation Policies in the 21st Century”, Ottawa (Canada), 25-27 September 2006.

B. Godin (2006), On the Origins of Bibliometrics, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Working Paper no. 33, 32 p., Published in Scientometrics, 68 (1), 2006, pp. 109-133.

B. Godin (2006), From Eugenics to Scientometrics: Galton, Cattell, and Men of Science, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Working Paper no. 32, 48 p. Published in Social Studies of Science, 37 (5), 2007 : 691-728.

B. Godin (2005), Science, Accounting and Statistics: the Input-Output Framework, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Working Paper no. 31, 32 p. Presented at the ENID / PRIME International Conference “ STI Indicators for Policy Analysis: Needs, Status and New Developments”, Lisbon, 22-23 September 2005, Published in Research Policy, 36 (9), 2007 : 1388-1403.

B. Godin (2005), The Linear Model of Innovation: The Historical Construction of an Analytical Framework, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Working Paper no. 30, 35 p. Published in Science, Technology, and Human Values, 31 (6), November 2006: 639-667.  Paper presented at: 1) Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT), Maastricht, Netherlands, 5 September 2006; 2) Fifth conference on Triple Hélix, Turin, Italy, 18-21 may 2005.

B. Godin (2005), Technological Progressiveness as a Precursor to the Concept of High Technology: A Note, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Working Paper no. 29.

B. Godin (2005), Research and Development: How the “D” got into R&D, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Working Paper no. 28,
Published in Science and Public Policy, 33 (1), 2006, pp. 59-76.

B. Godin and C. Doré (2005), Measuring the Impacts of Science: Beyond the Economic Dimension, INRS Urbanisation, Culture et Société, 44 p. Paper presented at: 1) Helsinki Institute for Science and Technology Studies, HIST Lecture, 24 August 2007, Helsinki, Finland; 2) International Conference “Science Impact – Rethinking the Impact of Basic Research on Society and the Economy”, Organized by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and the European Science Foundation (ESF), 10-11 May 2007, Vienna, Austria.

B. Godin (2004), Globalizing STI Indicators:How Statisticians Responded to the Political Agenda on Globalization, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Working Paper no. 27, 25 p.

B. Godin (2004), The Who, What, Why and How of STI Measurement, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Working Paper no. 26, 16 p. Published in Le Banquet (Revue du CERAP), 19-20, January 2004, pp.159-170. [tranlated in Spanish : Tecnológicas, 2007, published by  ITM (Instituto Tecnológico Metropolitano), Medellín].

B. Godin (2004), The Obsession for Competitiveness and its Impact on Statistics: the Construction of High-Technology Indicators, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Working Paper no. 25, Published in Research Policy, 33 (8), 2004, pp. 1217-1229. Paper presented at the conference on “Development and Perspectives in the Knowledge Economy”, organized by the PILOT European Network of Excellence, 15-16 March 2007, University of Dortmund, Germany.

B. Godin (2003), The Knowledge-Based Economy: Conceptual Framework or Buzzword?, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Working Paper no. 24, 22 p. Published in Journal of Technology Transfer, 31, 2005, pp. 17-30

B. Godin (2003), Technological Gaps: Quantitative Evidence and Qualitative Arguments, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Working Paper no. 23, Published in Technology in Society, 24, 2002: 387-413.

B. Godin (2003), The Most Cherished Indicator: Gross Domestic Expenditure on R&D (GERD) , Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Paper no. 22, 25 p.

B. Godin (2003), The New Economy: What the Concept Owes to the OECD, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Paper no. 21, 24 pages. Published in Research Policy, 33 (2004): 679-690.

B. Godin (2002), Are Statistics Really Useful? Myths and Politics of Science and Technology Indicators, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Paper no. 20, 39 p.

B. Godin (2002), Rhetorical Numbers: How the OECD Constructs Discourses on STI, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Paper no. 19, 37 p.

B. Godin  (2002), A Note on the Survey as Instrument for Measuring Science and Technology, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Paper no. 18, 12 p.

K. Smith (2001), Measurement of Innovation in Europe: Concepts, Experience and Results, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Paper no. 17, 29 p.

B. Godin (2002), The Rise of Innovation Surveys: Measuring a Fuzzy Concept, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Paper no. 16, Communication presented at the International Conference in Honour of K. Pavitt “What We Know About Innovation”, 13-15 November 2003, SPRU, University of Sussex, Brighton (UK).

B. Godin (2002), Highly Qualified Personnel: Should we Really Believe in Shortages?, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Paper no. 15, 33 p.

B. Godin  (2002), Measuring Output: When Economics Drives Science and Technology Measurements, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Paper no. 14, 22 p.

B. Godin (2001), What’s So Difficult About International Statistics? UNESCO and the Measurement of Scientific and Technological Activities, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Paper no.13, 21 p.

B. Godin (2001), Taking Demand Seriously: The OECD and the Role of Users in STI Statistics, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Paper no. 12, 16 p.

Godin, B. (2001), Tradition and Innovation: The Historical Contingency of R&D Statistical Classifications, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Paper no. 11, 20 p.

Godin, B. (2001), Metadata: How Footnotes Make for Doubtful Numbers, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Paper no.10, 32 p.

B. Godin (2001), The Number Makers: A Short History of Official Science and Technology Statistics, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Paper no. 9, 45 pages. Published in Minerva, 40 (4) 2002: 375-397.

B. Godin (2001), The Emergence of Science and Technology Indicators: Why Did Governments Supplement Statistics With Indicators?, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Paper no. 8. Published in Research Policy, 32 (4), April 2003 : 679-691.

B. Godin (2001), Defining R&D: Is Research Always Systematic?, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Paper no.7, 17 p.

B. Godin (2001), The Disappearance of Statistics on Basic Research in Canada: A Note, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Paper no. 6, 4 p.

H. Stead (2001), Development of STI Statistics in Canada: A Informal Account, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Paper no. 5, 17 p.

B. Godin  (2001), Neglected Scientific Activities: The (Non) Measurement of Related Scientific Activities, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Paper no. 4.

B. Godin (2000), Measuring Science: Is There “Basic Research” Without Statistics?, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Paper no. 3, 33 pages. Published in Social Science Information, 42 (1), Mars 2003: 57-90.

B. Godin (2000), The Measure of Science and the Construction of a Statistical Territory: The Case of the National Capital Region (NCR), Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Paper no. 2, 31 pages. Published in Revue canadienne de science politique, 33(1).

B. Godin  (2000), Outline for a History of Science Measurement, Project on the History and Sociology of STI Statistics, Paper no. 1, 36 pages. Published in Science, Technology and Human Values , Vol. 27, No. 1, 2002, pp.3-27.