China, on the other hand, is rushing forwards towards a science-heavy future. Its spending plans call for colossal increases in S&T spending, and it’s even signing agreements with individual US states to work on developing low-carbon technology schemes.
Looking through six top-tier scientific journals, including Nature, Science, Cell, and the Lancet, the team from the University of Michigan also found that although America is still reporting the greatest number of scientific discoveries – particularly in biomedical fields – China will soon challenge them for first place too.
In the year 2000, China was ranked 14th in this regard. As of 2015, it’s 4th – a meteoric rise by any standard.
The evolution of the Paris agreement suggests that the future will be collaborative and less competitive when it comes to science. China is certainly happy to shake a lot of hands in this sense, as has been made clear by its independent climate deal with California.
In fact, in this new study, the team note that “the percentage of basic and clinical manuscripts in high-ranking journals that include international collaborations increased from 26 percent of total publications in 2000 to 47 percent in 2015.”
Science clearly knows no boundaries, but for as long as a bellicose isolationist remains in the White House, America’s prospects look to be fairly grim.