Sunday, March 11, 2007

Science in Singapore by Essential Science Indicators

About three weeks ago, there was an update on 'Science in Singapore' by in-cites. The previous update was in 2005. As the university where I am does not provide the full package of services by ESI, I am unable to study the details of the ranking exercise. I have summarised the results in a table.

The new ranking shows a broad general trend of improvement. In the previous ranking, nearly all of the research fields were in negative territory in terms of their relative impact compared to the world, apart from mathematics and the agricultural sciences. In the recent ranking, there is significant improvement with several fields actually having above average impact (materials science, mathematics, plant & animal sciences, pharmacology and agricultural sciences).

In the physical sciences and engineering, most fields showed improvement except for computer science.

In the biological sciences, on average, there was improvement although the results are stagnant for microbiology, molecular biology and biology & biochemistry.

In the medical sciences, on average, there was good improvement, especially pharmacology which improved by a whopping 45 percent to garner an above average score. Not surprising considering the amount of research support pharmacological research has received in recent years. Again, there is obvious room for improvement since most of the fields are still deep in negative territory.


Anonymous said...

Very interesting! Thanks for pointing out this study. I find it ironic that with all the money pumped and all the proud declarations in biotech, our biological sciences score is still low. Or that our agrotech was shut down because it was not in line with 'government strategy', but we actually are really good at it.

Fox said...

The results are based on citation scores of papers published in Singapore from 2001-2005. It is rather premature to say that Singapore's investments in biomedical research isn't paying. If anything, I will say that there is substantial improvement in Singapore's research sector although, realistically speaking, we are still very far from calling ourselves 'world class'. I am personally quite pleasantly surprised by the improvement in the physical sciences and engineering.