Friday, April 13, 2012

Singapore - Asia-Pacific Is New Scientific Leader, Experts Say

Asia-Pacific is producing the latest developments in science, according to three science and academic leaders from the United States, Canada, and Singapore in the journal Science.

The most dramatic new developments in science are taking place among nations in the Asia-Pacific and the phenomenon is changing the dynamic of science around the globe, according to three science and academic leaders from the United States, Canada, and Singapore.

In an article published in the current issue of the journal Science, National University of Singapore President Chorh Chuan Tan, University of British Columbia President Stephen J. Toope, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Board Chair Nina V. Fedoroff cite a Royal Society report that shows the publications output of Chinese scientists is set to surpass that of U.S.-based scientists by 2013.

Meanwhile, major investments in discovery and innovation are building capacity in Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan.

“A concerted and immediate effort is required to enhance Asia-Pacific science collaboration,” the authors say.

The authors propose several strategies, including promoting researcher-to-researcher linkages, sharing curricula, creating incentives for university researchers to engage in productive international collaborations, building “innovation ecosystems,” and enabling greater talent mobility among graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and established researchers.

More flexible visa arrangements, similar to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation business travel card which allows for pre-cleared multiple entry for frequent business travelers within the APEC region, would go a long way to facilitating mobility among researchers in the region, they add.

Regional sharing of information is also critical to prevent duplication of effort and expertise, the authors say.

“One of the least efficient aspects of global university culture is the constant reinvention of curriculum, and international collaboration can help address this issue, as well as bringing together complimentary expertise to achieve higher-impact science research,” said Toope.

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