Sunday, November 25, 2007

Emerging Research Worlds

Economists talk about the emerging worlds of China, India, Brazil and others with rapidly strengthening economies. China is running hot with manufacturing, India is coding itself into IT, and Brazil (yes, God must be Brazilian) just discovered oil in its Tupi fields to add to its bounty that is already paying off. Some of the already-emerged economies are steaming (euro hits new highs weekly). Let us for a moment forget potential recession in US and what can only be called the submerged world of African Economy, and go with the rosy picture.

What I wonder is how will this affect the research world.

These emerging economies will invest in Research. The question is, what form will this investment take? My guess is, these countries will do what they typically do: set up a few "centers", get a few "top researchers", pile money on them, and hope this trickles down to form a research community. I have no idea if this approach has ever worked for any country. I mean, the "top researchers" are really the top ones, and they do their best, generate bunch of postdocs, students, support high quality visitors, and form joint programs with other international research centers. Will all that ultimately generate a research program as vibrant as the one in US?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is some evidence that the only way to grow a scientific base is from the bottom up, like a pyramid. You need a good elementary school system on top of which you build a good high school system on top of which you build a decent undergrad on top of which you build an ok research program on top of which you build an elite research program.

2:06 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home