18 October 2020
by Simon Marginson

Pluralisation of research power is diversifying science

After the internet emerged in 1990, universities and scientific institutes across the world became joined in a single collaborative research network for the first time in history, and in the manner of networks, global science began to expand continually with exceptional speed.

World research is shaped by five simultaneous trends that feed into each other and are transforming the processes whereby human societies create and share knowledge.

First, rapid growth in investment in research and in science paper output. Second, expansion in the number of research-active countries with their own science systems. Third, growth in the proportion of papers co-authored from more than one country. Fourth, the increasing weight of the networked global science system compared to national systems. Fifth, the distribution of leading research power among more countries.

OECD data shows that, between 1995 and 2018, almost every country expanded its spending on research. This more than doubled in the United States in real terms, almost doubled in Germany and the United Kingdom and multiplied by 5.6 times in South Korea and by an incredible 16.5 times in China.

You can read the full blog post at University World News.