Carnegie Mellon University
March 26, 2013

Press Release: Carnegie Mellon’s Kevin Zollman Earns NSF Award To Investigate Economics of Science

Contact: Shilo Rea / 412-268-6094 /

Kevin ZollmanPITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University’s Kevin Zollman has received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for his project “Incentives, Diversity and Scientific Problem Choice.”

Zollman, an associate professor of philosophy in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, will use the five-year, $400,000 award to investigate the economics of science to further understand the relationship between scientists and the incentives they face to secure funding, publish papers and receive promotions. He will connect existing studies that use an economic methodology to understand problem choice in order to explore the effects of incentives in science. The results of his work will include tools developed to help scientific policymakers evaluate the effect of different incentive systems.

The CAREER Award is the NSF’s most prestigious award designed to support junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through their outstanding research, excellent teaching and the integration of education and research within the context of their organization’s missions.

“Kevin is without doubt one of the most talented young scholars in philosophy today — and one of our most committed and effective teachers,” said Richard Scheines, head of the Department of Philosophy. “I am delighted that the NSF has chosen to recognize him with such a prestigious award, and that the award will give him the time and resources needed to get deep into a great topic: how does the economic landscape within which science functions affect its ability to acquire knowledge efficiently.”

Zollman joined the CMU faculty as the first Herbert Simon Postdoctoral Fellow of Scientific Philosophy in 2008. His research focuses on game theory, agent-based modeling and the philosophy of science. Currently, Zollman teaches at both the undergraduate and graduate level, including courses on Rational Choice, Philosophy of Economics and Social Epistemology.

For more information on Zollman, visit

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