On the Law of Diminishing Returns in R&D and Science

by Stanislav Sýkora, Extra Byte, Italy
in Stan's Library, Vol.V. First release February 2014
Permalink via DOI:  10.3247/SL5Epis14.001
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Please, cite this online document as:
Sykora S., On the Law of Diminishing Returns in R&D and Science,
Stan's Library, Vol.V, February 2014, DOI: 10.3247/SL5Epis14.001 .


The law of diminishing returns, well known from economics, actually extends to any sufficiently complex development, such as R&D of large software packages, complex mechanical and/or electronic devices, social and political institutions, and even Science itself. A simple example is provided to clarify why this is unavoidable. The illustration makes it also clear what are the basic rules to counteract, at least in part, the undesirable tendency, and what dangers they entail. I have found these realizations useful in my work and hope that somebody else might find them useful as well. As an after-thought, I have added also a reflection of the implications of the 'law' to Science (intended as a complex product of Humanity) which might be of some epistemological interest.

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Copyright ©2014 Stanislav Sykora    DOI: 10.3247/SL5Epis14.001 Designed by Stan Sýkora