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Monday, 18 January 2010

Science and Engineering Indicators 2010 released by US National Science Board (NSB), Jan15.

US lead in Science and engineering could be "cracking-up" according to NSB SEI 2010 Committee Member J-Marie Griffiths.

Intellectual research outputs-No. of Publications
"One key indicator: intellectual research outputs. "While the U.S. continues to lead the world in research publications, China has become the second most prolific contributor." China's rapidly developing science base now produces 8 percent of the world's research publications, up from its just 2 percent of the world's share in 1995, when it ranked 14th." said Griffiths.

The Important of "R&D and R&D Intensity" according to NSB's SEI Committee Chairman Lou Lanzerotti, R&D is a major driver of innovation, which builds on new knowledge and technologies, contributes to national competitiveness and furthers social welfare. R&D expenditures indicate the priority given to advancing science and technology (S&T) relative to other national goals.

In terms of R&D expenditures as a share of economic output, while Japan has surpassed the U.S. for quite some time, South Korea is now in the lead--ahead of the U.S. and Japan.

Over the past decade, R&D intensity--how much of a country's economic activity or gross domestic product is expended on R&D--has grown considerably in Asia, while remaining steady in the U.S. Annual growth of R&D expenditures in the U.S. averaged 5 to 6 percent while in Asia, it has skyrocketed. In some Asian countries, R&D growth rate is two, three, even four, times that of the U.S.

Patent "Stat-us quo" showing crack nucleation and early stages of growth
"Patents are another measure of valuable contributions to knowledge and inventions to societies. Inventors from around the globe seek patent protection in the U.S. U.S. patents awarded to foreign inventors offer a broad indication of the distribution of inventive activity around the world. While inventors in the U.S., the European Union (EU) and Japan produce almost all of these patents, and U.S. patenting by Chinese and Indian inventors. remains modest, the number of patents earned by Asian inventors is on the rise, driven by activity in Taiwan and South Korea," notes Griffiths.

Foresight-Hindsight
Calling SEI a "biennial production and a daily source of pride for the National Science Foundation(NSF) Director Arden L. Bement, Jr., characterized the work as a guide to the future. "It is not just where we stand; it's about where we're heading," he said, quoting 19th century British scientist Lord Kelvin, "'If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.'"

References
1. Original fuller account from ASM_Materials Science community
2.Science and Engineering Indicators 2010, and the Digest

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Energy for th Future:Phil.Trans.A-Vol. 365, N° 1853 / April 15, 2007, curtesy The Royal Soc. London

Engineered foams and porous materials: Phil Trans A. Vol 364, N° 1838 / 06 curtesy_The R Soc. Lond