Studying scientists with Pierre Azoulay

Pierre Azoulay, an economist at MIT Sloan, studies how life scientists work - or, more precisely, what makes them work well.

Which kinds of grants lead to the most creative scientific research? When elite scientists die or switch jobs, what happens to the output of their former colleagues and co-authors?

Information about those questions is just not readily available. Except to Azoulay: The hard numbers supporting his findings come from a unique database charting the careers of 12,000 scientific stars, which he has painstakingly built up over nearly a decade in collaboration with Joshua Graff Zivin, an economist at the University of California at San Diego.


Melanie Gonick