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

Our best illustrations of 2022

Our artists’ thought-provoking, playful creations bring our stories to life, often saying more with an image than words ever could.

How CRISPR is making farmed animals bigger, stronger, and healthier

These gene-edited fish, pigs, and other animals could soon be on the menu.

The Download: the Saudi sci-fi megacity, and sleeping babies’ brains

This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology. These exclusive satellite images show Saudi Arabia’s sci-fi megacity is well underway In early 2021, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia announced The Line: a “civilizational revolution” that would house up…

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023

Every year, we pick the 10 technologies that matter the most right now. We look for advances that will have a big impact on our lives and break down why they matter.

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.