Monday, February 04, 2008
"Now a new study has concluded that the current crop of Scottish scientists are among the most influential in the world, bettered only by the Swiss.
The survey has found that, in recent papers, Scottish scientists are cited more often than big-hitting scientific nations – the US, Germany and China – relative to their numbers.
Scientists in Scotland are world-leaders in highly specialised areas of research, with the impact of their work coming top for health-related sciences, second in clinical sciences and third in biological sciences.
Among the most mentioned research was breakthroughs in the treatment of neurodevelopment disorder Rett's syndrome by Edinburgh and Glasgow universities, and the development of fuel cells by chemists at St Andrews University.
The report measures the average number of citations per paper over ten years. It looked at the performance of Scottish scientific research against 26 other nations from 1995 to 2005.
It measured factors including the amount of money spent on research, the number of researchers employed, and the number of citations of research papers."
Now obviopusly it is per capita & it refers to scientists currently living in Scotland which is not the same as being of Scots extraction. However on the 2nd point I think it very likely that, because we speak English, it is much easier for our students to go to England or the US, where they do appear to exercise a disproportionate influence, than it will be for a Swiss national. Thus if the survey were done on national origin (a more expensive & dubious process, as membership of national sports teams testifies) I strongly suspect we would outperform even the Swiss.
I can think of nothing which is a better cause for national pride than scientific achievement.
Which makes the relative failure of the Scottish economy all the more disgraceful for the numpties who run the place.