• Question: which country do you think are the most scientifically developed country in the world?

    Asked by E.C.J to Barbara, Matt, Sophie on 19 Mar 2015.
    • Photo: Barbara Shih

      Barbara Shih answered on 19 Mar 2015:

      I personally think it’s between the UK and the USA. In science, the successfulness is often considered to be how many and how good the publications are (i.e. papers in scientific journals). Some science journal are considered to be more important than others, and some publication are cited by other researchers more. There is something called the h-index, which is a measurement that takes into account of both the scientific productivity and the impact. USA came top with around 1300 points, whereas UK is second, with about 800 points. USA is a lot bigger and put in a lot more money in research than the UK though.

      I like putting UK on par with USA partially because I feel that UK is more open towards to implementing/trying new things. For example, UK has the first government-backed on-road trial for driverless cars, as well as being the first country to approve 3-person baby that is life saving for some people!

      On a slightly related note, there was a study that compared chocolate consumption and the number of nobel prize winner in a country. They found there is a strong relationship between chocolate consumption and number Nobel prize winner. So maybe secretly Switzerland is actually the most scientifically developed country when you take into account of country size/population/money put into research. Although I guess not all Nobel prize are science related …

    • Photo: Sophie Robinson

      Sophie Robinson answered on 19 Mar 2015:

      The ten most technologically advanced countries in the world have integrated their scientific advancements into their society, making life easier for all of their citizens and increasing all of their productivity. Whether this means trains will be faster and safer, that weather can be predicted more precisely, or that hospitals are better equipped, technology improves the overall quality of life significantly.

      Being the most scientifically and technologically advanced country requires a great deal of funding so it is not surprising that the wealthier countries are at the top of the list:

      1. Japan
      2. Singapore
      3. USA
      4. UK
      5. Canada
      6. Netherlands
      7. China
      8. Sweden
      10. Finland

    • Photo: Matthew Moore

      Matthew Moore answered on 19 Mar 2015:

      Great question!

      I’m not sure which is the most scientifically and technologically advanced society, that which implements the benefits of modern science most into everyday life but the impact of research on the world from a particular country can be measured. The UK for example, for the number of people and money invested in research punches above its weight on the global stage.

      It has long been thought that China would overtake the US in science and technology impact (especially after the Bush administration which were quite anti-science, particularly regarding stem cells) but in reality the US is still leading the way. The US invested 424billion dollars in 2013 compared with 350billion for the entire of Europe!

      The top universities in the world are a mixture of US and UK institutions though, Harvard, MIT, Oxford, Cambridge etc. So we really are punching above our weight and could do with a lot more investment from the government!