Whenever I think of the best science centers in the world USA and EU states come to my mind. However after having read a very short article at NewScientist (‘Get ready for China’s domination of science‘) , I began to wonder how long USA and EU would keep on being the attraction centers for the brightest minds. Take a look at the facts below and decide for yourself:
– Data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development shows that between 1995 and 2006, China’s gross expenditure on R&D (GERD) grew at an annual rate of 18 per cent. China now ranks third on GERD, just behind the US and Japan and ahead of any individual European Union state.
– China’s student population has reportedly reached 25 million, up from just 5 million nine years ago. China now has 1700 higher education institutions, around 100 of which make up the “Project 211” group. These elite institutions train four-fifths of PhD students, two-thirds of graduate students and one-third of undergraduates.
– In 1998, China’s research output was around 20,000 articles per year. In 2006 it reached 83,000, overtaking the traditional science powerhouses of Japan, Germany and the UK. Last year it exceeded 120,000 articles, second only to the US’s 350,000.
– China produces 10 per cent of the world’s publications in engineering, computer sciences and earth sciences, including minerals. It now also produces 20 per cent of global output in materials sciences, with a leading position in composites, ceramics and polymer science and a strong presence in crystallography and metallurgical engineering.
– China is not doing science behind closed doors; its international collaborations are growing. Nearly 9 per cent of papers originating from Chinese institutions have a US-based co-author. Japanese and British co-authorship is also growing. Collaboration with South Korea and Singapore almost trebled between 2004 and 2008 and collaboration with Australia expanded too – signs, perhaps, of an emerging Asia-Pacific regional network.