Improving Asia-Pacific Science Collaboration

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Science  06 Apr 2012:
Vol. 336, Issue 6077, pp. 38-39
DOI: 10.1126/science.1208378

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Although there are important scientific contributions being made around the globe, the most dramatic new developments are taking place among nations in the Asia-Pacific. Of course, the United States and Japan have long been leading Asia-Pacific innovator nations in science and technology, and Australia and Canada have been solid contributors to knowledge. But it is the relatively new entrants from the Asia-Pacific that are changing the dynamic of science around the globe. Most extraordinary is the rise of China. According to a Royal Society report (1), the publications output of Chinese scientists is set to surpass that of U.S.-based scientists by 2013. Major investments in discovery and innovation are building capacity in Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan. Enhanced collaboration between institutions has the potential to lead to higher-impact research (2) and to tap the widening base of research expertise. Given the rapid rise in trade and economic cooperation among countries in the Asia-Pacific region, we propose that a concerted and immediate effort is required to enhance Asia-Pacific science collaboration.