Tuesday, May 11, 2004

US losing its domination in science?

Well, well! The United States is reportedly losing its domination in science. That can only be a good thing, as it will force us in America to look abroad more often. The tendency towards insularism over here is high. But how much domination are we talking about here?

One possible (as dodgy as anything else) benchmark is
Nobel Prize counts, which results in a ranking of top universities as Harvard, Cambridge U, Max Planck (Munich), U London, Chicago, CalTech, MIT, Stanford, Berkeley. That's for all science (including Economics) fields combined. For individual fields, partial rankings are available for physics, chemistry, medicine, and economics. The site reads "The 481 Nobel prize laureates came from institutions in 24 countries. 45.7 % of these institutions are in the United States, 15.2 % in Great Britain and 12.7 % in Germany."

If the projection is (and I'm pulling numbers out of a hat here) that by 2020 'only' 30% of Nobel institutions will be in the United States, I'm all for it. Keeps us on our toes, and prevents our military and traders from throwing their weight around so much.

As a caveat, note that there are other University rankings.


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