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Will STAR METRICS give us a handle on the benefits of government-sponsored R&D?

Well, that's the theory, anyway.

STAR METRICS is a multi-agency venture led by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Naturally, the name is an acronym, short for Science and Technology in America's Reinvestment—Measuring the Effect of Research on Innovation, Competitiveness and Science.

Considering that the feds spend well over $100 billion annually on R&D, it might be nice to keep track of what bang we're getting for our buck.

My latest HND piece takes a look at this new program, which right now relies on the voluntary submission of data from the research contractors. Of course, they do have some incentive to comply.

The cynical side of me is reminded of countless other "metrics" and evaluations run on countless other government programs. The data is compiled, but almost no one actually reads it, and no action is ever taken on the findings.

Maybe STAR METRICS will be different.

Read the complete HND article.


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