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Engineers: Nature wants to publish your research.

Today is Friday, March 1, 2024.


"Having engineers back in Nature’s pages is long overdue, not least for the health of our planet and the well-being of all people".


“We want the world of engineering to know that its research, whether as a proof of concept or at the implementation stage, will be considered,” says Nature editorial from last February 14 2024.


Interesting. Nature’s editors feel that engineering research has been underrepresented in the journal — something they want to change.


Indeed. In one hand, we talk about climate change elements, carbon and ecosystems, reemphasizing science, physics and chemistry as universal pillars in out "Planet A", after 200 years of strong populational growth and expansion of consumption. Then, on the other hand, it seems that the world is speeding faster through a new industrial revolution.


In this context, also highly relevant are studies that show how discoveries and inventions can be applied in real-world settings, including by testing and evaluating products and processes on large scales. Actual efforts - and headlines - require more and more engineers.


According to the editorial, Nature also noted that "the world’s plan to end poverty and achieve environmental sustainability ... isn’t going well". Nature refers to most of United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and self-imposed 2030 deadline.


"SDG-related research is not yet a priority for many researchers, especially for those in high-income countries, compared with their colleagues in low- and middle-income countries" adds Nature.


This is at least strange, if we consider another perspective: international patent applications and scientific publications. Also recently, last February 16, Visual Capitalist explored the world’s top 50 science and technology hubs leading these innovations based on data from the Global Innovation Index 2023, from World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).


"For the first time, China topped the list of countries with the highest number of clusters among the top 100, having 24 total. The United States follows, with 21 clusters, then Germany with nine ... São Paulo (Brazil); Bengaluru, Delhi, Chennai, and Mumbai (India); Tehran (Islamic Republic of Iran); Istanbul and Ankara (Türkiye); and Moscow (Russian Federation) are the only middle-income economy clusters outside China. According to the Global Innovation Index, the U.S. leads in research and development (R&D) expenditure, followed by China, Japan, Germany, and the Republic of Korea".


Here is Visual Capitalist "Mapped:The World’s Top 50 Science and Technology Hubs" article by Niccolo Conte and Bruno Venditti.


And here our most recent article about WIPO "Technological innovations, carbon methodologies and climate change".


Back to Nature, by putting out this call for more engineering research, this international weekly journal of science also wants to reconnect with its roots. It’s first issue, published on 4 November 1869 was about the Suez Canal, one of the largest engineering projects of the nineteenth century. At that time, relation was being traced with another project: "the 437-kilometre Ganges Canal, which had opened 15 years earlier to connect the Ganges and Yamuna rivers in India. The Ganges Canal’s waterways were intended to irrigate massive stretches of farmland, thereby reducing the risk of famine in a region where people had previously experienced hunger when the rains failed".


Also at that time "scientists and engineers wanted to read about each other’s work in the same journal".


Editorial quotes the recent Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, equivalent to the Nobel prize, awarded to two engineering researchers Andrew Garrad and Henrik Stiesdal for their contributions to the field of modern wind-turbine technology. Their 40-year partnership in designing, testing and improving wind turbines brought together researchers from other fields, such as mathematics, fluid physics, electronics and materials science. With practical benefits already in place on industrial scale around the whole world.


Nature concludes, "engineering and science are like two ships that have set sail close together, but in many ways have gradually drifted apart. We can’t let that continue. Having engineers back in Nature’s pages is long overdue, not least for the health of our planet and the well-being of all people".


Click at the image below for this Nature editorial, including several other interesting links.




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“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty”

Madame Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) Chemist & physicist. French, born Polish.

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