U.S. Remains a Science Superpower

By Brent Fewell

Some good news for U.S. researchers and budding scientists.  Results of a new scientistsurvey released today in Nature reveal the United States’ continued world dominance in science.

The United States remains the superpower of science, dominating a ranking of the world’s top 200 institutions in 2012, published today in the first Nature Publishing Index (NPI) Global supplement. The UK, Germany and Japan make up a solid top four countries in terms of high quality science output. China is nipping at France’s heels for the number five slot. The NPI ranks countries and institutions according to their output of primary research articles in the 18 Nature research journals in 2012, and includes data from 2008-2011 for comparison.

The United States was number one in the Global Top 100 countries for science in 2012 by a clear margin, in front of the UK and Germany respectively. US institutions claim 32 of the top 50 positions in a ranking of the world’s top 200 institutions. Harvard University was the number one scientific institution in the world, with as many articles in Nature research journals in 2012 (368) as the whole of China (303). Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the University of Washington also featured in the global top 10.

I’m very fond of scientists since I married one.  Sheara Wall Fewell, my lovely bride of 20 years, who is the smart, attractive Ph.D. in the family and spent years working on a cure for cancer – who BTW can do intellectual laps around me -informs me that Nature is the UK’s equivalent of Science to the U.S. – the top two science journals of the world whose pages any scientist would covet seeing their work appear.  So the source is solid.  Congratulations to all you smart, dedicated and hardworking scientists for this much deserved recognition.  For all those long hours at the bench pipetting agar samples, centrifuging tubes, maintaining meticulous log books, and trekking back into the lab over the weekend to tend those cell cultures that never sleep, your hard work is paying off.   Don’t stop now – the world needs your cerebral powers more than ever to help solve our most pressing environmental challenges.