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UK’s lead in physics healthy but insecure

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Posted April 23, 2014

The quantity and quality of scientific papers produced by UK physicists indicates that the UK remains in an elite group of nations contributing at the leading edge of physics research.

New research published today, Tuesday 22 April, shows that, when the quality of the UK’s scientific output is compared with that of its leading international competitor nations, the UK’s lead in  comes despite a lack of investment relative to other scientific disciplines, such as the life sciences.

While the UK’s physics base is still punching above its weight, The UK’s performance in physics research: National and international perspectives also records the forceful growth of physics in emerging scientific nations such as China and India.

The new report, published by the Institute of Physics (IOP) and the UK’s two leading funders of physics research, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), uses publication and citation statistics, as well as case studies of research clusters like astrophysics and space science, to evaluate the UK’s position in physics between 2002 and 2011.

Dr Frances Saunders, President of the Institute of Physics (IOP), said, “Alongside nations like the US, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, the UK remains world leading in physics.

“The physics research being undertaken in the UK is having an impact on some of the most important challenges we face, from management of big data to the production of advanced materials.

Read more at: Phys.org

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