Our Rio paper contained quantitative predictions of how much Chinese scientific publication would continue to grow at US expense. Data in the new Science and Engineering Indicators 2010 allow some checking of these forecasts. The model calculates publication share from forecasts of R&D investment share. The data used was for 2005 then available from NSF (in S&EI2008) on the number of scientific papers and from OECD on national investments in R&D (GERD).
In 2005 the publication shares based on the 35 country OECDgroup (with more than 90% of world publication) were:
Our forecast for 2007, made based on 2005 data, was:
The actuals for 2007 in the new SEI2010 report are:
Not bad for government work, particularly since some don’t even know what direction these time series are heading or why. I suspect that the small difference between forecast and actuals is because China increased their GERD share a little faster than we forecast. I can check that from the latest OECD data and put it in a comment.
So what? Well, if my model continues to forecast correctly the rapid rise of China, it predicts that China will actually pass the US in well less than ten years to lead the world. This is despite China’s current share being far below that of the US in this key indicator of scientific supremacy.
As shown in the Rio paper, China has already passed the US in some databases of physical science publications. The paper also has forecasts of about a dozen other indicators of national S&T performance. In two cases, high tech manufacturing market share, and the number of science and engineering PhDs produced, the paper’s forecasts that China would soon pass the US have already occured in the data newly available. Also, China will likely pass the US in the number of researchers when the 2008 data becomes available. Have a nice day, particularly if you are in the PRC. (:))
R. D. Shelton