The world's scientific power centers have shifted — and now researchers and nations collaborating on science with the U.S. and China face getting caught up in their broader competition.
Why it matters: Both the U.S. and China are linked to other global research players that are poised to shape science and innovation in the coming decades — and that would feel the ripple effects of partnerships frayed by geopolitics.
The big picture: In 1999, the U.S. dominated publication output — a metric of intense focus in science — but by 2019, the global picture had changed dramatically, according to a recent report by researchers at Georgetown University's Center for Security and Emerging Technology.
Today there is no one country that dominates overall. China, the U.S. and the EU are each leaders in a handful of fields. Breaking down those fields further reveals countries other than the U.S. and China — dominated by the EU as a bloc but also India, Japan and South Korea — produce more than one-third of the world's publications.
A Nature analysis published last week suggested the growth of collaborations between the U.S. and China, which are among each other's top scientific collaborators, may be slowing, whereas "the share of papers [from China] co-authored with some other nations, such as the United Kingdom and Australia, is rising."