January 2011

UNESCO releases 2010 science report

But, when some go up, others must come down, and, indeed, the power trio of the U.S., EU and Japan is seeing its overall shares decrease. And, while the emergence of developing nations is creating a more diverse and competitive scientific atmosphere, there is cause for worry among highly developed nations in this tough economic market.

Interestingly, though, some of the new powers may step in to help; the report noted that China and India, for instance, have been using their newfound economic might to invest in high-tech companies in Europe and elsewhere to acquire additional technological expertise, thus maintaining a circulation of scientific resources.

At nearly 400 pages, the UNESCO Science Report 2010 offers something for everyone, from dedicated scientific analysts to curious researchers who want to see how their countries stack up globally. The report features a general introduction that goes over the main developments in science since the previous report in 2005 and then follows with sections that offer detailed regional perspectives. There are chapters devoted to Latin America, the Caribbean, EU, Southeast Europe, the Arab States, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia/Oceania. The report also features chapters on individual nations of interest, which include Brazil, Canada, China, Cuba, India, Iran, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Turkey and the United States.

Nick Zagorski (nzagorsi@asbmb.org) is a science writer at ASBMB.

UNESCO report
Global comparison of the share of gross domestic expenditure toward research and development in 2007 versus 2002 (2002 within parentheses). © UNESCO Science Report 2010/UNESCO Institute for Statistics.

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