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The new map of science

Daniel BuenoThe journal Nature published a special issue about the changes in how science is pursued in the world today, emphasizing the inclusion of new actors like China, India, Singapore, Brazil and South Korea to the scenario of nations that are engaged in conducting high-level research.  The text suggests that the increasing globalization of research, driven by the expansion of collaborative networks all over the world, is strengthening the research capability of the emerging nations and changing the global balance of science.  “National boundaries are being transcended by collaborative research networks and ‘brain circulation’ that enables scientists to move around the world much more freely than before,” the publication indicates.  The journal Nature has collected the opinions of eight leaders from research institutions, programs and sponsoring agencies regarding measures that should be taken to promote research in their countries in the next decade.  Included among them was FAPESP Scientific Director Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz, who called attention to Brazil’s scientific progress over the past 30 years.  In 2011, Brazil granted over 12,000 doctoral degrees and published 35,000 articles in international scientific journals.  Yet on average, the number of citations of Brazilian authors in such journals was the same in 2011 as in 1994.  “Brazilian scientists should collaborate and publish more with researchers from world-class institutions abroad,” states Brito Cruz.  One of the proposals he presented calls for the government to establish a plan to support nearly a dozen universities in putting in place excellence programs that will enable them to be ranked among the 100 best in the world within a decade.