So Young Kim Professor
  • International Political Economy
  • Public Policy
  • R&D Policy
  • Basic Science Policy
  • Big Science Policy
  • S&T Workforce Policy
  • Science Diplomacy & ODA
  • Ph.D. in Political Science, Northwestern University, 2004

Prof. So Young Kim is the professor and the former head of the Graduate School of Science & Technology Policy at KAIST. She graduated from Seoul National University with English Education for the BA and Political Science for the MA. She then earned her Ph.D. and M.S. from Northwestern University with Fulbright Scholarship specializing in International Political Economy and Mathematical Methods in Social Sciences. Prof. Kim worked as a data archivist for the Social Science Computing Center at the University of Chicago and taught as an assistant professor at Florida Atlantic University before joining KAIST in 2007.

Her research deals with high-stake issues at the interface of S&T and public policy such as government R&D funding and evaluation, basic science policy, science advising, science & engineering workforce, science-based ODA, and global governance of emerging technologies. Her scholarly work includes publications in Nature, International Organization, Journal of Asian Survey, Science and Public Policy, Journal of Science & Technology Studies, Scientometrics, and STI Policy Review as well as the co-edited volumes of Science and Technology Policy: Theories and Issues, The Spector of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and A Return of the Future: COVID-19 and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Prof. Kim conducted large-scale science policy projects including Identification of Strategic Research Areas in Basic Research, A Study of Future Technology Roadmaps based on the Time Series Analysis of Technologies (funded by the National Research Foundation), Measuring Social Impacts of the Public R&D Programs (funded by the Korea Institute of S&T Evaluation and Planning), and the Kenya KAIST Feasibility Study (funded by Korea Eximbank). She is currently the editorial member for the East Asian Science, Technology, and Society and the program committee member of the biennial Atlanta Conference on Science and Innovation.

At KAIST, Prof. Kim has held various positions including the Director of the Korea Policy Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Project Coordinator for the Establishment of Kenya-AIST Project, Director of Smart Research and Education Center, President of the Women Faculty Council, Vice-President of the Faculty Council, and Chair of the 50th KAIST History Publication.

As a public intellectual, Prof. Kim has served numerous governmental committees including the Chairperson of the Spent Nuclear Fuel Policy Review Committee Chairperson (Ministry of Industry, Trade and Economy), Advisory Committee for Fiscal Policy (Ministry of Economy and Finance), National S&T Vision Committee, National R&D Program Evaluation Committee, Advisory Committee for the Science & Engineering Workforce Five-Year Plan (all under the Ministry of Science and ICT), Advisory Committee for Science Diplomacy (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), and the Chair of the Committee for Gender Equality in Faculty Recruitment (Ministry of Gender Equality and Family). She has also chaired the Long-term Policy Planning Committee of the Korea Federation of Women’s S&T Associations (KOFWST) and co-chaired the Science and Diplomacy Committee of the Korea Federation of S&T Associations (KOFST). Prof. Kim served on the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Technology, Values, and Public Policy as well as on the Expert Panel for the Public Understanding of Risk Institute of the National University of Singapore.

  • Seolmin Yang & So Young Kim, 2023, “Knowledge-Integrative Research Is More Disruptive When Supported by Homogeneous Funding Sources: A Case of US Federally Funded Research in Biomedical and Life Sciences,” Scientometrics 128 (6): 3257-82
  • So Young Kim, 2022, “To Boost South Korea’s Basic Science, Look to Values, Not Just Budgets,” Nature 606: 229
  • So Young Kim & Yoonhoo Kim, 2018, “The Ethos of Science and Its Correlates: An Empirical Analysis of Scientists’ Endorsement of Mertonian Norms,” Science, Technology and Society 23 (1): 1-24
  • So Young Kim & Yael Wolinsky-Nahmias, 2014, “Cross-National Public Opinion on Climate Change: The Effects of Affluence and Vulnerability,” Global Environmental Politics 14 (1): 79-106
  • So Young Kim, 2014, “Government R&D Funding in Economic Downturns: Testing the Varieties of Capitalism Conjecture,” Science and Public Policy 41 (1): 107-118
  • So Young Kim, 2007, “Openness, External Risk, and Volatility: Implications for the Compensation Hypothesis,” International Organization 61 (1): 181-216
Graduate Courses Science, Technology, and Public Policy
Science of Science Policy
Undergraduate Courses Science and Technology Policy
Governance of Global Risks
Power vs. Choice