The topology map implies that the understanding that a worldwide system of scientific knowledge does indeed exist. Accordingly, the system is made up of specialized channels that are acknowledged as legitimate, and there is consensus as to their capacity to represent or characterize the world of scientific knowledge
The paper aims to classify the countries of the world in several broad groups, described in terms of behavioural models that attempt to sum up the characteristics of their systems of knowledge and innovation. The researchers perceive three clusters in our analysis: 1) the biomedical cluster, 2) the basic science & engineering cluster, and 3) the agricultural cluster.
The first group consists of Western Europe, with the United States , Canada and the UAE. All these countries are the ´cluster´ of biomedicine , " which is characterized by a democratic profile.
The second large block of countries investigated in the so-called ´ basic science ´: physics, mathematics and engineering. This ´cluster ´ is formed by Russia and the former Soviet countries , Eastern Europe and Communist countries like China, Korea, Singapore , Taiwan and Japan.
The third block consists of research in developing countries: most of the countries in Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America. " These countries have not yet developed a national research system and enhance agriculture and fisheries for a simple practical reason: it allows them to improve their gross domestic product.
The results show that countries that have mature systems of science and technology present vigorous output in biomedical research, whereas countries that are wealthy but less developed in socio-political terms appear to invest and harvest more in clinical medicine. There appears to be a trend for wealthy countries to emulate the well-developed democracies.
The report has been published in PLOS ONE journal