UNESCO Science Report 2010

UNESCO Science Report 2010

UNESCO Science Report 2010

Europe, Japan and the USA (the Triad) may still dominate research and development (R&D) but they are increasingly being challenged by the emerging economies and above all by China. This is just one of the findings of the UNESCO Science Report 2010 launched in Paris on 10 November 2010.

Written by a team of independent experts who are each covering the country or region from which they hail, the UNESCO Science Report 2010 analyses the trends and developments that have shaped scientific research, innovation and higher education over the past five years, including the impact of the current global economic recession, which has hit the Triad harder than either Brazil, China or India. The report depicts an increasingly competitive environment, one in which the flow of information, knowledge, personnel and investment has become a two-way traffic. Both China and India, for instance, are using their newfound economic might to invest in high-tech companies in Europe and elsewhere to acquire technological expertise overnight. Other large emerging economies are also spending more on research and development than before, among them Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and Turkey.

If more countries are participating in science, we are also seeing a shift in global influence. China is a hair’s breadth away from counting more researchers than either the USA or the European Union, for instance, and now publishes more scientific articles than Japan.

Even countries with a lesser scientific capacity are finding that they can acquire, adopt and sometimes even transform existing technology and thereby ‘leapfrog’ over certain costly investments, such as infrastructure like land lines for telephones. Technological progress is allowing these countries to produce more knowledge and participate more actively than before in international networks and research partnerships with countries in both North and South. This trend is fostering a democratization of science worldwide. In turn, science diplomacy is becoming a key instrument of peace-building and sustainable development in international relations.

Taking up from where its predecessor left off in 2005, the UNESCO Science Report 2010 proposes a world tour of the status of science today that should enable ‘science watchers’ everywhere to decipher the trends that are shaping our rapidly changing world.

Read the Executive Summary (AR, CH, ENES, FR, GE, PO, RU)

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Read the full report in English or Chinese

Download chapters in PDF format

Order the report in English

Facts and figures from the UNESCO Science Report 2010

Test your knowledge of the report's findings with this fun quiz


Read the press releases:

  • Research and development: USA, Europe and Japan increasingly challenged by emerging countries, says a UNESCO report  (AR, EN, ES, FR, RU, CH)
  • The USA and Europe still lead the global science research effort, but their future is uncertain says UNESCO report (EN)
  • Asia leaping forward in science and technology, but Japan feels the global recession, shows UNESCO report (EN, CH)
  • Science and technology could be the way to greater equality in Latin America, says UNESCO report (ENES)
  • Even oil-rich Arab states need innovation, says UNESCO report (EN, AR)
  • Research and Development: Africa is making progress despite major challenges (EN)

Read about the launch of UNESCO Science Report 2010 around the world

Photo gallery (AR, EN, FR, RU)

Contact Susan Schneegans, Editor of the UNESCO Science Report 2010

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