Outsourcing Research

“the cost of producing a new scientific discovery is dropping around the world,” says Christopher T. Hill in the NY Times. Christopher is a professor of public policy and technology at George Mason University.

I’m the type that isn’t a fan of routine work. Doing something over and over again isn’t enticing to me. There are still many jobs where this is needed and people perform them. Manufacturing jobs tend to be this way. Another example of jobs where repetition is key is in the field of research.

I’ve recently read that there are three forms of logic – Deductive, Inductive, and Abductive. Deductive logic uses process of elimination to align a theory with an outcome. The theory must have a framework already established though. Inductive logic uses a vast amount of inferential data from experience or observation to draw strong resultant theory. Abductive logic happens when an unique situation arises – when no theory exists to match deductive or inductive data against.

As the NY Times article titled How Scientific Gains Abroad Pay Off in the U.S. points out, this can be the next level of outsourcing. As the population of China and India grows, so does the number of scientists. Perhaps they aren’t of the same quality of those in the US, that is fine. Why is it fine, because the scientists in the US can do the abductive logic and modal reasoning and the scientists in emerging markets can do the theory matching through inductive research and then deductive research. Both groups benefit.

But it makes me wonder about other areas where this relationship can blossom.


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