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State of Science: Iran Overtakes Israel in Scientific Research Rankings

© AP Photo / Vahid Salemia Ghadr-H missile, center, a solid-fuel surface-to-surface Sejjil missile and a portrait of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are displayed at Baharestan Square in Tehran, Iran
a Ghadr-H missile, center, a solid-fuel surface-to-surface Sejjil missile and a portrait of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are displayed at Baharestan Square in Tehran, Iran - Sputnik International
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Over the last two decades Iran has achieved great milestone in becoming a scientific superpower as its research and development productivity has grown dramatically, surpassing Israel in terms of production of scientific research.

Twenty years ago Israel was leading in scientific research in the Middle East, according to the publication Haaretz.

However, since then Israel has fallen to fourth place, behind Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

According to the publication, Iran now leads in fields such as physics, biology, chemistry and business administration. In the humanities, culture and art, Israel still maintains the top spot.

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The data was accumulated without adjustment for population, which means that Iran, with a population of 80 million people, produces more research than Israel, with fewer than 9 million people.

“In 1996, Iranians published only 960 scientific articles compared to about 10,000 by Israelis. Since then, the Iranian figures have climbed to some 41,000 a year, though per capita Israel still publishes more scientific articles than the other countries,” Haaretz reported.

The governments of Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are spending large amounts of money for research and also to develop a better skilled labor force in their countries.

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Every year, Scopus, an academic research portal, catalogs academic papers from every country in the world and publishes rankings based on output. As of 2013, Iran was in 17th place worldwide in terms of overall research production.

According to publication IDG Connect, the Iranian government provides 75% of science research funding, and it is inter-connected with most levels of both higher education and industry.

Iran’s scientific progress over the past few years has taken place despite severe international sanctions, which make the achievement even more surprising, the publication noted.

If Iran manages to incorporate itself into the world economy, Iran’s scientific industry may leap even further ahead. 

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