China has experienced the strongest growth in scientific research over the past three decades of any country, according to figures compiled for the Financial Times, and the pace shows no sign of slowing.
Jonathan Adams, research evaluation director at Thomson Reuters, said China's “awe- inspiring” growth meant it was now the second-largest producer of scientific knowledge – and is on course to overtake the US by 2020 if it continues on its present trajectory.
汤森路透(Thomson Reuters)的研究评估主管乔纳森•亚当斯(Jonathan Adams)表示，中国“令人惊叹的”发展速度意味着，它已成为全球第二大科学知识生产国，如果继续沿目前轨道发展，到2020年中国将超过美国。
Thomson Reuters, which indexes scientific papers from 10,500 journals worldwide, analysed the performance of four emerging markets countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China – over the past 30 years.
China far outperformed every other nation, with a 64-fold increase in peer-reviewed scientific papers since 1981, with particular strength in chemistry and materials science.
“China is out on its own, far ahead of the pack,” said James Wilsdon, science policy director at the Royal Society in London. “If anything, China's recent research performance has exceeded even the high expectations of four or five years ago, while India has not moved as fast as expected and may have missed an opportunity.”
“中国独占鳌头，遥遥领先于其它国家，”英国皇家学会(Royal Society)的科学政策主管詹姆斯•威尔斯顿(James Wilsdon)表示。“中国近来的科研表现甚至超出了四五年前的高预期，而印度的发展速度则低于预期，可能已经错过了一个机会。”
Although its quality remains mixed, Chinese research has also become more collaborative, with almost 9 per cent of papers originating in China having at least one US-based co-author.
Brazil has also been building up a formidable research effort. In 1981 its output of scientific papers was one-seventh that of India; by 2008 it had almost caught up with India. Russia, which has previously been seen as a leader in scientific research, produced fewer papers than Brazil or India in 2008.