Azara Blog: British science is allegedly in danger from Asia

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Date published: 2007/01/17

The BBC says:

British science is in danger of being sidelined by Asian research within 10 years, a report has warned.

UK think-tank Demos said China, India and South Korea were "innovation hotspots" and were shifting research dominance from west to east.

It cautioned that the UK must "wake up to what is unfolding" and not respond with "too little, too late".

But it added the developments should not be seen as a threat as they could open up many opportunities for the UK.

Report co-author James Wilsdon, head of science and innovation at Demos, said the pace of innovation had been changing very quickly in Asia.

He said factors such as rapidly growing markets, injections of state spending on research, and the "brain gain" as researchers returned home from the US were driving the boost in science-based innovation.

South Korea, following its rapid industrial development 30 years ago, has recently doubled its investment in research and has augmented its scientific workforce; China has also gained huge amounts of state science funding; while India produces 2.5 million IT, science and engineering graduates a year, the report said.
...
The authors made several recommendations, including:

Mr Wilsdon said: "We just can't sit back and think: 'Oh well, I'm sure this will all work out'.

The first thing the British government should do is stop wasting money on these silly reports and instead spend the money on science and engineering research. Anybody who talks about creating "knowledge banks and research programmes that solve the global public interest" obviously has spent too much time in consulting and not enough time in science or engineering. Britain will continue to punch above its weight in science as long as government stops its politically correct interventions in universities, and ignores this profusion of consultant babble, and just lets the scientists get on with it. The biggest danger facing British science is not coming from Asia but from Britain.

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