Lynne G. Zucker

Professor, Department of Sociology; Director, Center for International Science, Technology, and Cultural Policy, UCLA

My training is in organizational sociology, institutional theory, economic sociology, and social psychology. My current major interests are on processes and impact of knowledge transmission from basic science to commercial use, especially impact on economic performance of firms, creation of new organizational populations (some of which become new industries), and on productivity growth. I share with Michael Darby an interest in identifying the major mechanisms of knowledge transfer and the institutional infrastructure that cause metamorphic industry change and rapid economic growth. Within the context of basic scientific breakthroughs that are commercially applicable, we are exploring other measures of success such as IPO returns and examining the impact of other means of knowledge transfer such as joint ventures. We are now studying many of the same processes in nanoscience, a newly emerging basic research area with significant commercial potential. To identify institutional infrastructure effects, we are completing a comparative study of biotech in Japan and the U.S. and embarking on a set of major international analyses of the transmission of scientific breakthroughs to commercial use in nanotechnology.