President and Founder /Editor, The Scientist
Chairman Emeritus, ISI
3501 Market StreetPhiladelphia, PA 19104
Home Page: www.EugeneGarfield.org
The Award Ceremony of Research!America
October 28, 2003
My interest in the impact of research predates the launch of the Science Citation Index® in 1964. Many people believe the SCI was created to study research impact for tenure evaluation or to forecast Nobel Prizes. However, the SCI® was invented primarily to improve information retrieval. The unique multi-disciplinary and hyperlinked structure of the SCI opened the field we call scientometrics -- measuring the impacts of papers, researchers, journals, institutions, and countries using publication and citation outputs. So, when in the seventies, I encountered Julius Comroe and Robert Dripps at the University of Pennsylvania, I saw the relationship to their work on tracing the impact of basic research on the practice of medicine in their now classic 1976 article in Science1. In 1979, while preparing an essay which asked “How Can We Prove the Value of Basic Research?2,” I encountered Hugh H. Fudenberg’s studies on the dollar benefits of research.3
Subsequently, I met Professor Ed Mansfield at Penn who demonstrated the high rate of return to society on its investment in research and development.4 These encounters with Comroe, Fudenberg, and Mansfield culminated in a major review that I published in Current Contents in 1981 on “The Economic Impact of Research and Development.”5
In closing, let me acknowledge Mary Woolley and the Board of Research!America for their support and the Award Committee for selecting an outstanding recipient, Dr. David Cutler. As I told David, I think that Professor Comroe would have appreciated his studies involving cardiovascular medicine. Surely this second award, together with that of the inaugural one to Dr. David Meltzer6, establish remarkable precedents for future awards.
Hopefully, the Research!America Award will not only stimulate further studies but also remind policy makers in Congress of the economic impacts of biomedical and health research.
1. Comroe J. H. and Dripps R.D., “Scientific Basis for Support of Biomedical Science,”
Science 192(4235):105-11 (1976)
2. Garfield E., :How Can We Prove the Value of Basic Research?” Current Contents No. 40,
pgs. 5-9 (1979). Reprinted in Essays of an Information Scientist, Volume 4, pgs. 285-289 (1981).
3. Fudenberg H.H., “Dollar Benefits of Biomedical-Research - Cost-Analysis,” Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine, 79(3): 353+ (1972).
4. Mansfield E., “Contribution of R and D to Economic Growth in United States,”
Science 175(4021):477+ (1972)
5. Garfield E., “Garfield, E. “The Economic Impact of Research and Development,” Current Contents No. 51, pgs. 5-15 (1981). Reprinted in Essays of an Information Scientist, Volume 5, pages 337-447. Philadelphia: ISI Press (1983).
6. Garfield E. "The Origins of the Eugene Garfield Economic Impact of Medical and Health Research
Award". Inaugural Presentation. Award presented to Dr. David Meltzer. Philadelphia, July 10, 2002