Canada Ranks Sixth in Global Science Impact

July 16, 2014 at 3:26 pm Leave a comment

A recent publication by Thomson Reuters analyzed over three thousand researchers that ranked among the top 1% in their field for the most citations in a given year. This method of analysis is believed to produce a list of scientists who have the biggest global impact on science.

While American researchers come in first in terms of their global scientific impact, occupying over 76% of the list, Canadian scientists proudly represent 6% of the top names in science worldwide.  Although this may seem like a small number, it should be remembered that Canadians only represent approximately 0.5% of the global population. Therefore, Canada is more than towing its weight in terms of scientific excellence.

So who are Canada’s most cited scientists? According to the list, the top 3 names are:

  1. Salim Yusuf, a cardiologist and director of McMaster University’s Population Health Research Institute
  2. Marco Marra, director of the Genome Sciences Centre and a professor of medical genetics at the University of British Columbia
  3. Steven Jones, Head of Bioinformatics and Associate Director, Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre, BC Cancer Agency

However, as an article in the Globe and Mail points out, Canadians shouldn’t let these numbers get to their heads. A deeper analysis of the Reuter’s study reveals that:

  • Canada is lagging behind in its number of top scientists per capita
  • None of Canada’s research chairs have made the list
  • Only 10% of the Canadians that made the list are women

The take home message? Canada is well positioned to produce excellent science that will have a huge global impact for many years to come. Nonetheless, more opportunities for Canadian scientists to network amongst global peers will likely have a positive influence on Canadian researcher’s global footprint. Furthermore, more investment is needed to encourage a larger percentage of our population to pursue a career in science and a sincere effort should be made to give female scientists the support they need to make inroads into the top echelon of highly cited researchers.

Entry filed under: Biotechnology News and Info from Canadian Universities. Tags: .

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