Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Increase in R&D Intensity

This graph is from a very nice Fact Sheet produced by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics titled A Global Perspective on Research & Development. It shows the changes in portion of Gross Domestic Product devoted to research that countries have made between 1996 and 2005. Each country is represented by a labeled point. The countries falling above the upper line in the graph have significantly increased their spending on research and development relative to their total economic product (and almost all of them also increased their GDPs). Only a few countries fall below the lower line, having significantly reduced the portion of GDP devoted to research and development. In short, the graph provides an interesting demonstration of the increasing belief in science and technology among a wide range of nations. Moreover, since richer countries tend to be those with the higher portion of GDP devoted to research and development, the graph shows an increase worldwide in research and development.

The fact sheet illustrates the important role of UNESCO in documenting the global status of science, and the graph above illustrates the thoughtful and innovative way in which UNESCO presents its conclusions to the world.

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