Cite this Article
Science, Technology and Innovation in Latin America. Journal of Scientometric Research. 2021;10(1s):s1-s4. doi:10.5530/jscires.10.1s.17..
Since the middle 1960s, we have witnessed a strong and continuous growth of science, technology and innovation, as a result of the expansion of investment in both human resources and infrastructure for the sector. Nevertheless, in more recent years, the rate of this growth was affected by the financial global crisis of 2008. It is a fact that this troubled period did not strongly impact the world total R&D budget, but investments from high-income countries narrowed mostly. According to the UNESCO Science Report: Towards 2030, in 2013 the world gross domestic expenditure on R&D (GERD) reached PPP$ 1,478 billion (PPP purchasing power parity – 2005), while in 2007, before the crisis, it reached PPP$ 1,132 billion. Such increase was higher than that observed for the global gross domestic product (GDP), but it was boosted by investments on R&D from upper middleincome economies, mainly China.
Past and current efforts towards the development of world R&D, however, have occurred in a context of great inequality, widening social and economic gaps not only between world regions but mainly between countries. A clear example of this scenario of inequality in science is the leadership of the “big five”, that is USA, China, countries from European Union, Japan and Russia. As indicated in the UNESCO report, the group alone held 78.1% of all global investment in R&D in 2013. A similar unbalanced picture is also observed when the number of researchers is considered: the big five encompasses 72.2% of the 7.8 million researchers worldwide. Read more . . .