Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Despite Slide in World Share, U.S. Science Impact Still Looks Strong

I guess one can always look at SOMETHING and see a silver lining.

The latest Thomson Reuters analysis of 12 years worth of data from National Science indicators has confirmed what most of us have guessed, that the science output of the US is in slow decline.

In 2005, Science Watch noted that the U.S.'s output, as a percentage of world science, was in decline, with Asia-Pacific's output steadily rising. This latest analysis shows the trends continuing. In 2005, the U.S. contributed 32.8 percent of global research; by 2007 its share slid to 31.5 percent. During the same period, Asia-Pacific's share increased from 25.9 percent to 28.2 percent.

Still, the analysis managed to find something positive.

In all 21 science fields analyzed for this report, the U.S. markedly surpassed the world average in citation impact. Topping the list was Physics, where the U.S. exceeded the world mark by 55 percent, followed by Chemistry and Materials Science where the U.S. exceeded the world by 52 percent and 47 percent, respectively.

But is this number also in a steady and slow decline?

You can read the full analysis report here.


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