Australian universities have maintained their position in the world as top class research centres despite an often hostile political environment, according to analysis by the international journal Nature.
The university of Queensland tops the rankings for research within Australia, creating a flood of published articles in academic journals — 392 in 2014.
The Asia-Pacific region has maintained its world-leading reputation for high-quality scientific research, according to the Nature Index for 2015 The region contributed more than 25% of articles included in the Nature Index database in 2014.
China leads the way, trailing only the US in the total number of high-quality science papers published in 2014.
Japan, South Korea, Australia, India, Singapore and Taiwan also made significant contributions.
The Nature Index is a database of author affiliations and institutional relationships, used to track contributions to articles published in 68 highly-selective science journals.
Australia outperforms Japan and China in its relative output in Nature and Science journals.
Australia’s recent and near-term funding cuts are discussed in an editorial and their impacts on Research and development.
The bigger-picture approach is a necessary reaction to significant funding cuts and political apathy to the importance of scientific research, according to Andrew Holmes, president of the Australian Academy of Sciences and a University of Melbourne chemist.
“We have to react by being smarter in the way that we work and also more convincing in persuading
the political masters how effective science can be in creating wealth and raising our standard of living,” he says.