What’s ahead in 2010?

By Shaun Hendy 29/12/2009

2010 is shaping up to be a defining year for New Zealand’s RS&T system. We will be hearing how the Government will set its RS&T priorities and what these priorities will be. The CRI task force will be reporting back, and we will find out how the Government is going to encourage R&D in the business sector. As I discussed in a post last month, the money spent by the business sector on R&D is strongly correlated with patenting.

What will I be blogging about in 2010? I have devoted quite a bit of time this year discussing data that we have extracted from the OECD patent database. There is still a lot of information to be mined from this database and I will be continuing to discuss this in the New Year. For instance, I will have more to say about inventor networks and how their structure changes with network size. I also want to look at some specific networks in more detail, comparing their size and structure between countries.

I will also follow up on some of my earlier posts on bibliometrics. It took me a while to get permission from Thompson Reuters to start publishing citation data, but this has now come through, so I will be looking at how the impact factors of New Zealand institutions have changed over the last 20 years. I also want to follow up with more detail on the surprisingly large co-author networks that exist within the New Zealand science community.

Of course, from time to time, I will blog on other matters that interest me throughout the year. I have been following the progress of some new types of collaborative research: mathematicians have been learning how to use the mass collaboration that blogging allows to prove theorems and solve original research problems. This is, after all, the reason that the web was created in the first place.

Collaboration, whether through blogs or other means, may be the key to New Zealand taking its own R&D to scale.

In the meantime, I hope you are all enjoying your holidays!