Scientific advancements have made a huge impact in our society today and it’s worth exploring how the 10 Most Advanced Countries in Science are contributing to this progress. From medicine breakthroughs to ground-breaking researches and space explorations—all of these discoveries have helped improve the quality of our lives significantly.
We have previously listed the 10 most advanced countries in technology. Today, we’ll look at the top 10 Most Advanced Countries in Science. These countries are ranked and averaged according to the number of patents created, scientific documents published and cited, gross domestic expenditure on research and development, number of science and engineering doctorates awarded, and space science research from 2011 to 2014.
We also correlated this with the student performance of these countries in the field of math and science. The rankings showed that even though the students of certain countries performed well in science, it doesn’t guarantee that notable researches or discoveries will come from them.
According to Business Insider, Singapore is the smartest country in math and science but it didn’t make our top 10 as it only ranks 17th in the previously mentioned criteria. They also didn’t make it to Thomson Reuters’ top 20 countries in space science.
American students may rank 28th in science but they bag the top spot in most published documents, patents, citations, R&D expenditure, and PhDs. However, there were also countries with students that performed well in science that also ended up being one of the top nations making strides in sciences such as Japan and Canada.
Here are the top 10 countries that are leading in the field of science:
Spain lands on the tenth spot in the most advanced countries in science with 952,099 published researches, over 12 million citations, and 772 patents. The country has awarded more than 3,000 doctorate degrees as well. According to Technology Review, Spain is becoming a fast leader in innovation with advanced solutions in the field of aerospace, renewable energy, biotechnology, and more.
Spanish companies are taking the lead in space missions with Proba-3 set to deploy sensitive instruments for astronomical research. Spain’s energy giant Iberdrola is known for making huge leaps in renewable energy.
Italy ranks ninth with over 1.2 million published journals and more than 18,000 citations. The country has created 2,930 patents and awarded more than 4,000 PhDs. The Italian government allots $26.3 billion on R&D. They also rank 12th in space science.
The country is home not only to Archimedes, Leonardo da Vinci, and Galileo Galilei but also to many Nobel Prize winners in science (i.e. medicine, physics, and chemistry). The country founded The World Academy of Sciences and provided an early grant to support the science-centered effort. It is headquartered in Trieste, Italy.
Switzerland ranks eighth with 2,466 patents and 493,857 published journals. Swiss students rank eighth globally as the smartest in math and science. The country ranks tenth in space science with 2,959 published space researches and 51,649 citations.
Switzerland is where a lot of firsts in science come from such as the first discovery of the Orion nebula: M31 by Johann Cysat, creation of the first internal combustion engine by François Isaac de Rivaz, and discovery of the first planet outside of the solar system: System of 51 Pegasi by Michel G. E. Mayor and Didier Queloz.
Not to be outdone is France with 6,555 patents and more than 1.5 million published documents. The country’s science researches have also been cited over 24 million times. France has awarded over 7,000 PhDs and allotted $55.40 billion for R&D.
One of the best science innovations for 2015 is France’s fusion energy project called Iter, the largest thermonuclear reactor ever built. The country has also developed the first plant where radioactive wastes can be disposed. France is home to famous scientist Louis Pasteur who invented pasteurization.
Canada ranks sixth in the 10 Most Advanced Countries in Science with over 1.2 million published researches and more than 22 million citations. They also rank third in space sciences with 5,729 published documents on space. Canadian students are also adept in math and science, ranking tenth globally. The have created 7,272 patents and awarded more than 2,000 doctorate degrees.
The country also established the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Science with the mission to encourage everyone to learn about science by providing accessible information that is easy to comprehend and relate to society.
Technology leader Japan lands on the fifth spot with 54,170 patents and more than 2 million published journals. Japanese students rank fourth globally as the smartest in math and science. The country allots more than $151 billion in research and development. Despite being under the radar over the past years, Japan is still making innovations that are changing the world.
According to a 2014 article by IT World, Japan has developed a way to recycle radioactive waste and turn them to metals like palladium and rhodium. The Japanese government funded the research for this initiative amounting to $530 million.
4. United Kingdom
Britain landed on the fourth spot with more than 2.3 million published documents and over 44 million citations. The United Kingdom has produced 6,551 patents and awarded over 8,000 PhDs. The home of the Royal Family also ranks eighth in the top countries for space sciences with more than 15,000 space-related papers.
The country is known to have laid the foundation of modern science. Robert Grosseteste, a student of Roger Bacon, developed a new philosophy arguing that geometry is the key to understanding the mysteries of nature long before Galileo released his Copernican system.
Germany ranks third with 16,605 patents and more than 2.1 million published researches. It’s worth noting that German students rank 13th in the best performers in math and science. The country allots over $102 billion on R&D. Germany is known as a land of ideas, inventions, and innovations.
Notable discoveries like the Aspirin, Z3 (the first programmable computer), bacteriology (a branch of science founded by Robert Koch), a chip card (the microprocessor card you see every day), jet engine, contact lenses, and more were developed by Germans.
China ranks second with 6,597 patents and over 3.6 million published journals. The country has also produced more than 27,000 PhD awardees. According to Journalists Resource, China will overtake the U.S. in R&D spending by 2022. In fact, 51.7% of China’s economic growth in 2011 is attributed to scientific advancements.
Back in 2006, the Chinese government launched the “Indigenous Innovation” campaign that aims to make China a “science powerhouse” by 2020. The country also aims to attract Chinese scientists abroad to go back to the Mainland.
1. The United States.
The United States ranked first in the Global Science Scorecard with 147,652 patents. The U.S. government allots more than $453 billion in research and development. They also top the SCImago Journal & Country Rank with over 8.6 million published scientific documents and more than 177 million citations.
American scientists are also paid more says Paula Stephan of Georgia State University. Most U.S. Nobel laureates were born in other countries but end up going to America mainly because of this high income incentive. The U.S. also ranks fifth in the top countries in the space sciences.
With these first-world countries leading the way in science advancements we can expect more breakthroughs and discoveries in the coming years. These 10 Most Advanced Countries in Science are not keeping their successes to themselves. Some have established institutions involving other nations to keep this science-centered progress going and growing. The great thing about them is that they are not only industry leaders but also beacons of inspiration for budding scientists and science enthusiasts all over the world.