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Charting Nano Environmental, Health, & Safety Research Trajectories: Is China Convergent with the United States?

Li Tang, Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus; Shanghai University of Finance and Economics
Stephen Carley
Alan Porter

Abstract

Despite China’s recent entrance into the Nano Environmental, Health, & Safety (“EHS”) field, China is currently the number two producer of Nano EHS research, following the United States. As is demonstrated in this paper, China is quickly gaining ground on the United States in a number of key Nano EHS research areas and looks to one day establish leadership positions of its own in these domains. China’s escalating efforts to promote Nano EHS research, along with its rapid growth of research outputs in this field and increasing Sino-U.S. research collaboration in multiple research domains, raises the question: Is Nano EHS research in China developing a character of its own or is it following the path charted by the United States? Utilizing a unique dataset of global Nano EHS publications, this paper, focusing on the negative aspects of Nano EHS scholarship, compares American and Chinese Nano EHS research trajectories with a number of evaluative metrics. Research trajectories for both countries are charted via research intensity, measured in terms of location quotients, and research focus, measured in terms of absolute and percentage growth of top research keywords. The present analysis argues that China’s rapid development in the Nano EHS domain can be characterized by a pattern of convergence to the path of the United States. Yet, China’s state-led Nano EHS program is also a key driver of its own research direction, as evidenced by the dual development of research streams and national policy initiatives with evolving funding priorities. The policy implications for both countries are also discussed in the end.

Suggested Citation

Li Tang, Stephen Carley, and Alan Porter. "Charting Nano Environmental, Health, & Safety Research Trajectories: Is China Convergent with the United States?" Journal of Science Policy & Governance 1.1 (2011): 1-16.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/li_tang/9