China to overtake the US on science?
Just read an article on the BBC, hypothesizing whether China is going to overtake the USA on science. The title of the article is a little misleading, as the contents refer to the number of scientific publications.
To overtake as a leader in scientific research, I think there’s still a long way to go for China. You know a country is leading in scientific research when you see the following situations:
- The best research papers are published in the local language, and not in a foreign language.
- The country hosts the best scientific publication entities.
- The country’s scientists do not have to learn a foreign language to do research and read papers.
- Other countries’ scientists have, at least, a working knowledge of your language.
- The best and brightest in the world come to study at your graduate schools.
- The best and brightest scientists want to immigrate to your country (to have the opportunities to work on advanced research).
So far, none of the situations above apply to China yet, and I don’t think it’s going to happen any time soon. Therefore, if I were an American policy maker, I would not freak out just yet.