AUSTRALIA: Research not bad, but not stellar

Australia conducts influential, world-class research across 19 of 22 fields but is still a middle-ranking research power among countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, according to the country's first "state of the innovation nation" report, writes Guy Healy for The Australian.

Physics, geosciences, space sciences, environment and mathematics have been rated Australia's strongest performing fields, according to the global impact of their scientific publications in the Australian Innovation System Report 2010. Conversely, research in psychiatry-psychology, neuroscience-behaviour and economics and business were rated weakest on world impact.

Switzerland, Denmark, Iceland, The Netherlands and the US are the most influential research nations, in that order. Australia ranks 16th, and all those above are European with the exception of the US (fifth), and Canada (12th). Britain was seventh.
Full report on The Australian site