Despite evidence of the growing importance of team knowledge production, our understanding of factors influencing team formation remains limited. In particular, the relationship between human capital and research technology remains under-explored despite the increasingly influential role of research tools in adding knowledge in the process of scientific research. Conditions of access to research technology influence team formation relative to the composition of expertise. Despite the growing emphasis on the importance of specialists for knowledge production, researchers with broader exposure to knowledge – generalists – play a particularly important role in the process. Specifically, great reductions of research technology costs substitute for ex-ante optimal involvement of area specialists and facilitate involvement of outside area specialists through collaboration with generalists.