[Big hat tip to Dr Andrew Zhalko-Tytarenko for the Google Maps article below by Loet Leydesdorff & Olle Persson--Walter Derzko]
March 28, 2011
China has rocketed into second place in the number of articles published in international science magazines, according to a report released Monday by the Royal Society in London.
While the top 10 is filled with major Western powers, their share of research papers published is falling, while nations such as China, Brazil and India are growing
[....but what it doesn't show is that there is more to science excellence than just sheer publication volume. More significant then quanity is quality - the number of citations you get from a paper you publish..ie. how often you get quoted in other journals and recognised by your academic peers--Walter Derzko]
[as an aside...The map above shows citations in Chemistry by city. The green circles indicates frequent citations, red circles low citations and size of the circle indicates the number of publications.The west still obviously dominates. But the largest red circle on the map that is over Moscow, shows that Russians are publishing in chemistry but that they are largely ignored by the rest of the world. I'm told by Russian academic expats that the reasons for science mediocracy may vary-overemphasis on incremental vs breakthough science; falling back on me-too, copy-cat science; it could be due to lack of originality (everything is just copied or stolen) or the lack of young scientists that are as a rule more original then older ones or just plain political bias...most westerners don't read or speak Russian and the same goes for Physics .
As a proxy for future global competitiveness, it clearly shows that Russian science is "cooked" or "done like toast"...As one former Soviet scientist told me begrudgingly.." oddly, Kampala (Uganda) looks better, then most Russian science centers."
But that doesn't mean that you won't find any "jewels in the rough" though in former Soviet republics. You just have to look harder, below the rotting, collapsing infrastructure of science.
"We have found several "gems" in Ukraine.
In medicine, you have the discovery of Hydrated Fullerenes (or water soluble Buckyballs) or HyFN-C60 in Kharkiv, Ukraine (praised by Nobel prize winners who discovered fullerenes 25 years ago, as the "silver bullet" in medicine in the 21 century) . This fullerene-based water drink was just approved by the Ukrainian Ministry of Health, after extensive clinical trials, as the world's first nanotechnology-based health drink. It's classified as a food supplement and not a drug, because it's found in nature.
In Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, you have the discovery of a new green drilling technology for shale gas, that obsolesces conventional fracking, which contaminates the water table with over 250 chemicals" --Walter Derzko.
See original science mapping story here..... http://arxiv.org/abs1103.3216v3 --Walter Derzko]
Related Post: Who will be the next S&T super powers?
Also on the rise but further behind are Iran and Turkey. [but with low citation rates too--wd]
China has shot up from sixth place in the period 1999-2003 (4.4 percent of the total) to second place behind the United States with 10.2 percent over the years 2004-08, overtaking Japan.
The United States remains in the top spot, but has seen its share shrink from 26.4 percent to 21.2 percent.
Japan has slipped from second to fourth, falling from 7.8 percent to 6.1 percent, while Britain has remained third with its share at 6.5 percent, down from 7.1 percent.
Germany, in fifth place, published six percent, down from seven percent, while France, in sixth, published 4.4 percent, down from five percent.
They were followed by Canada, Italy, Spain and India.
"The scientific world is changing and new players are fast appearing," said Chris Llewellyn Smith, who chaired the study at the Royal Society, Britain's national science academy.
"Beyond the emergence of China, we see the rise of southeast Asian, Middle Eastern, north African and other nations.
"The increase in scientific research and collaboration, which can help us to find solutions to the global challenges we now face, is very welcome.
"However, no historically dominant nation can afford to rest on its laurels if it wants to retain the competitive economic advantage that being a scientific leader brings."
The Royal Society's findings were published in its report entitled "Knowledge, networks and nations: Global scientific collaboration in the 21st century".
Outside the top 10, Turkey improved its scientific performance rate at a speed almost rivalling China, with four times as many papers with Turkish authors published in 2008 as in 1996.
Meanwhile Iran was the fastest-growing country in terms of numbers of scientific publications, rising from 736 in 1996 to 13,238 in 2008.