AsianScientist (Sep. 20, 2018) – China is rapidly rising to become a global research powerhouse, according to a Rising Stars supplement to the Nature Index 2018. While the Index provides an overall view of global research by taking into account the research outputs and impacts of more than 8,000 institutes worldwide, the latest supplement ranks the top 100 most improved institutes around the world based on the increase in their publications in 82 high-quality journals between 2015 and 2017.
A clear leader in the top 100 rankings was China, its research centers occupying 51 spots in the top 100 list. This gives it a clear lead over of the US, which came in second with 20 of its institutions listed in the top 100. The top three rising institutions in China were the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Tsinghua University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Southeast University, Hunan University, Fudan University, Qufu Normal University were highlighted as ‘Movers and Shakers,’ making unprecedented improvements in their research quality.
Furthermore, an analysis of the Chinese Universities included in the top 100 list revealed that four were established less than 30 years ago. They are: Southern University of Science and Technology, ShanghaiTech University, Central South University and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Overall, in terms of subject strength, China has developed strong capabilities in chemistry, noted the authors of the report.
In addition to featuring institutions, the Rising Star supplement identified 11 scientists who are making great strides in their research. Only two Asians were among this small cohort: Ge Binghui of the Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China; and Kim Jaemin of Standford University, US.
Ge was recognized for improving the resolution of conventional transmission electron microscopy, obtaining structural information less than a nanometer in size, effectively allowing the observation of individual atoms. He is currently using this high-resolution imaging technique to explore materials used in catalysis.
Meanwhile, Kim, who obtained his Master’s degree at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and his PhD degree at Seoul National University (both in South Korea), was lauded for his work on flexible electronics. His move to Stanford University in November 2017 was precipitated by his desire to work with Professor Bao Zhenan, an expert in designing intrinsically stretchy electronic materials. Hence, it would appear that even as China dominates the top 100 list, the US still retains the ability to attract research talent.
Read the full Nature Index Rising Stars supplement here.
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