I just read an article from New Scientist indicating that Iran has the fastest growth in science in the world. This great achievement is the result of decades of human and financial investment in academic and research institutions in both private and government forms. Iranian scientists and students have witnessed an exceptional growth in local academic centers in remote and underdeveloped areas of the country. In addition free academic education for a large number of students and the booming expansion of the Azad University have led to numerous new opportunities for study and research in Iran. Iranian scientists have taken the opportunities and the enthusiasm of the young generation for granted.
However, students and academics have also faced difficult pressures during the recent years and particularly after the contested elections in June last year. Suspension and detention of students and professors at the nationwide level and pressures on Islamic Student Associations that critisize the government are policies consistently pusued by the current government ,unfortunately. A recent global report by UNESCO , concerning attack on education included a three page report on the pressures and intimidations that students and academics in Iran are currently facing.
In such circumstances the New Scientist news report indicates that the potentials of the academic society in Iran are unlimited and irregardless of the pressures and censorship they are intent on moving ahead for the pursuit of science and for the betterment of their society and the global community. I will post some parts of this article for your information.
Iran showing fastest scientific growth of any country
12:52 18 February 2010 by Debora MacKenzie
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It might be the Chinese year of the tiger, but scientifically, 2010 is looking like Iran's year.
Scientific output has grown 11 times faster in Iran than the world average, faster than any other country. A survey of the number of scientific publications listed in the Web of Science database shows that growth in the Middle East – mostly in Turkey and Iran – is nearly four times faster than the world average.
Science-Metrix, a data-analysis company in Montreal, Canada, has published a detailed report (PDF) on "geopolitical shifts in knowledge creation" since 1980. "Asia is catching up even more rapidly than previously thought, Europe is holding its position more than most would expect, and the Middle East is a region to watch," says the report's author, Eric Archambault.
World scientific output grew steadily, from 450,000 papers a year in 1980 to 1,500,000 in 2009. Asia as a whole surpassed North America last year.
Nuclear, nuclear, nuclear
Archambaut notes that Iran's publications have emphasised inorganic and nuclear chemistry, nuclear and particle physics and nuclear engineering. Publications in nuclear engineering grew 250 times faster than the world average – although medical and agricultural research also increased.