Readers respond

Checking our math on the UK vs. the US; were Chagas parasite researchers too modest?

Patrick Fisher(patrick@pwfisher.com)
Jul 26, 2004

To the Editor:

In reference to your article "US leading world science," you state that "the US produced 1.265 million scientific and engineering publications between 1997 and 2001, more than three times the amount managed by the United Kingdom, which takes second place with 342,000."

I am surprised at your choice of words. "Managed" suggests that this is a failing on the part of the UK. Quite the opposite, I think it shows that the UK is remarkably strong in research production. In fact, after checking the numbers, I find that the UK produces 5.8 papers per 1000 people, while the US produces only 4.3 papers per 1000—35% more.

According to the UK government, "There were an estimated 59,050,800 people living in the United Kingdom in mid-2001." According to the US Census "population clock," the current estimate of the US population is 293,800,204.

Patrick Fisher

Thousand Oaks,...

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