Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Donald Trump Should Look to Germany for Scientific Inspiration

September 6, 2017

America's president is currently tightening budgets on R&D and focusing scientific efforts on things like fossil fuel energy and military systems. Meanwhile in Germany, quite the opposite is happening: Angela Merkel is slowly but steadily growing the nation's research efforts to further cement its standing as a scientific heavyweight.

Nature has a great piece reflecting on the nation's impressive scientific standing. The country has, of course, always had a fine heritage: it was a scientific trailblazer in the 19th century, creating universities and prestigious research organizations that continue to pump out impressive research. But Angela Merkel, the nation's chancellor and (tellingly) an ex-physicist, has been on a decade-long drive to keep the country at the cutting edge.

Over the past 10 years, Nature points out, Germany has gradually increased its national spend on research and development up to almost 3 percent of its GDP—a larger proportion than America ponies up. It's set up research clusters that bring together researchers from around the country to work on the most important areas, like artificial intelligence, cancer, or clean energy. And it's changed laws so that universities can pay researchers more in order to attract and retain talent.

It appears to be working: more than twice as many German universities are now in the world's top 200 compared to 2005, and the nation's research impact measured by number of citations has increased in the same period (America's has fallen).

It's not all roses, though. The nation's culture doesn't have an appetite for risk (and, therefore, it misses out on the reward that comes with it), and female representation in the sciences is still awful. But as a model for policies designed to push the needle on science, it puts America's current approach to shame.

Deep Dive

Uncategorized

Embracing CX in the metaverse

More than just meeting customers where they are, the metaverse offers opportunities to transform customer experience.

Identity protection is key to metaverse innovation

As immersive experiences in the metaverse become more sophisticated, so does the threat landscape.

The modern enterprise imaging and data value chain

For both patients and providers, intelligent, interoperable, and open workflow solutions will make all the difference.

Scientists have created synthetic mouse embryos with developed brains

The stem-cell-derived embryos could shed new light on the earliest stages of human pregnancy.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.