TWENTY years ago North America, Europe and Japan produced almost all of the world’s science. They were the aristocrats of technical knowledge, presiding over a centuries-old regime. They spent the most, published the most and patented the most. And what they produced fed back into their industrial, military and medical complexes to push forward innovation, productivity, power, health and prosperity.More food for thought in light of last night's entry, "China Challenges United States for Aerospace Leadership."
All good things, though, come to an end, and the reign of these scientific aristos is starting to look shaky. In 1990 they carried out more than 95% of the world’s research and development (R&D). By 2007 that figure was 76%.
Such, at least, is the conclusion of the latest report from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO. The picture the report paints is of a waning West and a rising East and South, mirroring the economic shifts going on in the wider world. The sans culottes of science are on the march.
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