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China ranks second worldwide in contributions to high-quality science

(People's Daily Online)    13:47, January 07, 2016
China ranks second worldwide in contributions to high-quality science
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The Nature Index compiled by the English science journal Nature, shows China is already a high-quality scientific powerhouse. Since the first Nature Index was put together in 2012, China's total contributions have risen by 37 percent to become the second greatest in the world, surpassed only by the United States.

"Clearly China is catching up to the US and is already a high-quality scientific powerhouse. The country's ever increasing R&D budgets, fueled by its burgeoning economy since the early 1980s, have driven this pattern," said Dr. Nick Campbell, Executive Editor of Nature. "The expansion of China's higher education system and improvements in the quality and quantity of its scientific workforce are key factors in delivering this impressive return on investment."

While chemistry and physical sciences are prominent among China's Nature Index contributions, accounting for 61 percent and 30 percent of its total respectively, the life sciences contribution is growing almost as rapidly (a 30 percent increase from 2012 to 2014).

The report also shows that Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing remain the dominant scientific centers. Shenzhen, Beijing and Wuhan also make significant contributions to research (especially in life sciences) as China's industrial research powerhouses. Shenzhen in particular has experienced a remarkable transformation into a research-based industry hub and Shenzhen-based companies now account for almost half of the country's international patent filings.

Statistics show that another important influence on China’s progress is international collaborations. Hong Kong, Hefei and Tianjn have all formed record numbers of partnerships with academic peers around the world. Tianjin scientists have focused most on forging local links, mainly between Nankai and Tianjin universities.

China's top five university contributors are Peking University, Nanjing University, Tsinghua University, University of Science and Technology of China and Zhejiang University.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Huang Jin,Bianji)

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