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Top 10 Science Superpowers of the Modern World: An Analysis

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German Transrapid TR 09 Maglev
German Transrapid TR 09, photo by Állatka
A nation which has the capacity to project dominating power and influence anywhere in the world, and sometimes, in more than one region of the globe at a time, and so may plausibly attain the status of global hegemony. Besides the requirement of a strong militarily, a power to become a super power needs a strong diplomatic and stable government, strong economy, a focused foreign policy, strong pool of scientists and strong base of research and education, and sufficiency in food and resources. 
We researched and analysed the potential super power of the world in one of our previous article “Top 10 Superpowers of The World” which is also one of the most read article on our journal. In this article we are going to analyse and list Top 10 science super powers who are growing bigger and may challenge the conventional science superpowers in the near future. 
Research Papers Published by Countries
Research Papers Published by Countries, 2009. Click to Enlarge.

United States of America

United States has been the lone super power since the collapse of Soviet Union in 1991. It remains the unchallenged global leader in science, research and innovation whose foundation has been set up by the high quality universities and educational institutes. Having seven universities in the list of top 10 universities in the world, and forty seven universities in top 100. United States of America is able to attract the creamiest layer of students from all around the world. A robust research environment, facilities, scholarships and high salaried jobs makes United States one of the best destinations for higher education.
Not only universities, a large number of public and private companies like NASA and IBM, are making differences in the society by their state of the art pioneering researches in almost every field. Strongest research area of US is biotechnology.

China

Largest in terms of population and second largest in terms of research papers published, China is the potential threat to United States’ supreme position in the world of science. China has been able to establish 11 universities in the list of top 400 universities in the world. Among which two are in the top 100 universities in the world. Number of research paper published in 2009 has seen a massive 400% growth when compared to year 2000. China’s main strength is material science. China has also seen growth in almost all the areas of research since 2003. China is leading the “space race” in Asia challenging Japan and India. China is also proud to have fastest train in the world CRH380A with its top speed of 302 mph (486.02 Km/hr) breaking the 300 mph barrier. 
However, the quality of research has been the issue in China. The country is also struggling with the attribute of innovation specially in the electronics, auto and military research fields. China has been accused by a number of organisations and companies around the world for copying their products be it vehicles, combat air crafts, electronic devices or other sensitive technologies. 
China's share of world publications by sectors.
China’s share of world publications by sectors. Click to enlarge

United Kingdom

Another country which has a vast presence in the pool of top universities in the world after United States is United Kingdom. United States and United Kingdom have been dominating the list of top 10 universities in the world almost unchallenged for ages. Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial College of London are the names which have become classic over the centuries. UK has made extensive contribution towards early science and setup the foundation of various chapters of science creating opportunities for further research. Today United Kingdom is the leader in Europe when it comes to the number of publications, which is followed by Germany, France, Italy and Spain in the respective order. 
UK’s scientific collaboration with other countries and European Union will ensure its position safe as one of the leaders in the world of science. UK’s impressive 25% growth in the number of publication shows it still has an active scientific resources. 

India

One of the fastest growing economy, largest democracy, and many such facts makes India a potential superpower. With every analyst in this world having higher expectation with this nation, India has been relatively slow. However, being slow in the field of science did not prevent this country to astonish the billions in the world time to time with its scientific achievements. Which includes India attaining self sufficiency in food grains, becoming one of the largest exporter of food, developing a highly sophisticated space program which enabled India to find water on the moon’s surface, indigenously developing nuclear program and military hardware, and high quality exports in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and information-technology services.
Indian institutes and universities are dedicated almost equally among all the major fields, still India’s one of the strongest area of research is Chemistry. If we compare India’s share of world’s publication from 1999-2003 with India’s share of world’s publication from 2004-2008 then we see almost all the sectors of research have experienced growth except Agricultural science, which is one of India’s spine. 
India's share of world publications by sectors.
India’s share of world publications by sectors. Click to enlarge
India’s contribution towards science and to the fields of mathematics, astrophysics, chemistry and life sciences dates at least two millenniums back. Later we saw contributions from Aryabhatta, Bhaskara and Brahmagupta who laid the foundation of the modern physics much before widely believed Europeans.
India once again with its one of the largest pool of scientists in the world is tying to excel in the world of science by catching up with leaders. India’s recent contribution to science is rising steeply in contrast with the other nations if we compare each nations relative year-by-year growth since 1981 at a volume of publications standard of 100. 
India's Scientific Year by Year Growth
Year by Year growth of India compared to G8 nations, Thomson Reuters
The behaviour of the India’s curve shows why some analysts have referred to India as a “sleeping giant”. India with its great capacity was sleeping till 1990s as soon as it got up, its brilliant system almost immediately started giving the output almost on par with other nations of G8. If this trend continues then India’s productivity will overtake G8 nations in another 5 to 7 years.

Brazil

Brazil is another important member of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China). With its economy on the rise, Brazil also contributed towards science and technology with its one of the major focus on improving environment. Brazil’s strength has been recognised in biological sciences, including bio fuel production. In the year of 2005, Brazil launched “Empresa Brasiliera de Aeronáutica’s Ipanema” world’s first commercial aircraft to run exclusively on bio fuels.
The world at present is not much aware of the science and technology base in Latin America. Mexico’s proximity to Unites States and Brazil’s rising economy has caused this region to develop a solid science base. Another giant in the South, Argentina is also in the race and catching up with Mexico and Brazil. 
From the year 2000 to 2009, Brazil has experienced a 210% increase in the number of research papers published. Such an enormous growth does indicate young pool of scientists, new force of resources adding up, better efficiency in output from universities and institutions. Brazil’s year by year growth is much better than other countries in BRIC namely, India and Russia. 
Culturally and traditionally close to west Europe mainly Portugal, having land connection with United States and almost being at the same time zone as of US brings Brazil on a advantageous position to collaborate with the world leaders of science and technology. Brazil has become the representative of science and technology power from Latin America.

Russia

If India was the “sleeping giant” which recently got awaken, Russia was an active and awakened giant which is going to sleep. After the collapse of Soviet Union, Russia experienced catastrophe and its contribution towards science seems to decline. Russia as Soviet Union is the one who began the new era of science and technology by surprising the world in 1957 by the launch of Sputnik satellite. In the “space race” Soviet Union had successfully outplayed United States. 
Russia has become the victim of critical brain drain, where a large number of talented resources left their country in search of better facilities, salary and funding. After the collapse of Soviet Union, science and technology has become less preferred destination for the younger generation compared to petroleum industry, language, and politics. This dynamic shift has resulted into the ageing of the Soviet scientists who are  in Russia as young generation is not able to reinforce their science power. In 2009, Russia experienced only 3.57% growth in the number of papers published when compared to 2000.
Russia has proved its supremacy once, and most probably it will once again jump back on the track of scientific research. Russia’s main strengths have been the core physics and space science, whereas the current trend is of life sciences, nano technology and environment where Russia needs to do a lot of catching up. Russia understands its lacking and has been collaborating in research mainly with Germany, US, France and East European nations to gain momentum.
Russia has been doing really good in military science and technology and have been developing state of the art weapons still giving tough competition to United States. Russia is the largest exporter of its weapons to India compared to any other country, and India is the largest importer of weapons in the world. Which shows the quality and superiority of Russian weapons. As Russia’s economy improves and undergoes constructive reforms with its wider integration in the world trade, its highly enthusiastic public who has a sense of competition with the west specially with United States will definitely help boost its research programs bringing it back on the track. 

Japan

Japan is a G7 economy and enjoyed the status of being world’s second largest economy for a long period of time until it was overtaken by China and India recently by GDP (PPP). Japan has been traditionally the innovation centre and brought surprising and attractive products both in automobile and electronic sectors. Japanese companies till date have been bringing out their innovative hybrid cars which exhibit higher fuel efficiency.  Japan also boasts third fastest rail in the world Shinkansen with a top speed of 275 mph (442.57 Km/h). Scientifically Japan had been the super power of Asia for a long time until it gave that position to China with India and South Korea almost catching up. 
Japan’s economy peaked in 1980s and since then there hasn’t been any appreciable increase or decrease in its volume of papers published. Just like Russia, Japan also experienced only a single digit growth in the number of papers published. From the year 2000 to the year 2009, there was only 8.3% growth. However, unlike Russia, Japan had always been ahead in modern science, be it nanotechnology or electronics. It already has an established base of high quality education and pioneer research labs. Its 13 universities are in top 400 in the world. With 2 in top 100 and 5 in top 200 universities in the world. All what Japan needs is human resources and encouraged young scientists. India and China produces one of the largest first class high quality resources in the world every year. All that said about Japan, it has a potential to become a favourite destinations for young Chinese and Indians who usually head towards US which is quite far. Japan can also collaborate with losing Russia, South Korea and rising South East Asia.

Germany, France, and Italy (and Spain)

These have been the traditional European power and were the super powers along with United Kingdom before second world war. Germany was a highly industrialized nation, unfortunately after the war, most of its sophisticated industries were taken over by west and Soviet Union for their benefits. 
Out of the three countries, Germany is leading in science and technology followed by France and Italy, with its volume of papers published in 2009 almost reaching close to that of United Kingdom. Germany had stunned the western powers and Soviet Union by its sophisticated weapons, air crafts and V2 rockets during the second world war. 
Today these countries within European Union have formed much collaborative educational system welcoming other prospective students from European Union. Universities from these countries invites students from countries like India and China in high number and fund their education. This way these universities are able to function with its full capacity.
Germany’s strength has been mechanical engineering in its various forms like aerospace and automobile, German cars like BMW and second fastest train in the world Transrapid TR-09 with the top speed of 279 mph (449 Km/h), which is faster than the fastest train in Japan, makes it one of the advanced developed country, and the region as a whole, in science.

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Sanskar Shrivastava is the founder of international students' journal, The World Reporter. Passionate about dynamic occurrence in geopolitics, Sanskar has been studying and analyzing geopolitcal events from early life. At present, Sanskar is a student at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture and will be moving to Duke University.

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7 Practical Ways To Keep Your Kids Safe Online

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The internet has many advantages to offer kids. Used well, it can be an infinite source of knowledge and an excellent communication tool for kids. 

However, the internet can also be a dark and scary place. It has its fair share of bullies and cybercriminals out to take advantage of innocent children. Add to that a plethora of inappropriate content, and it is understandable why many parents would rather not allow their kids to use the internet.

But in this day and age, forbidding your children from accessing the internet is simply impractical. 

So, what is a concerned parent to do about keeping their kids safe in the jungle that is the internet? Here are seven valuable tips to help you in your quest.

Educate Yourself

It may surprise you how far behind most parents are when it comes to tech matters. First, however, the vigilant parent must learn how the internet works to guide their children safely through its murky waters. This requires you to:

  • Know how different social media platforms work
  • Be able to operate the programs your kids use 
  • Have a good grasp of the content your kid’s favorite websites

If you come across as tech-savvy, your kids will view you as an authority on internet matters. This makes them more receptive to any advice you offer regarding safe internet use. 

Consequently, they’re less likely to engage in inappropriate internet conduct.

Preach Accountability

As a parent, the best way to keep your kids safe in any environment is to teach them how to make good decisions. This is the same approach you should take with the internet as well.

Start by making your kids aware of the dangers that lurk online. Discourage them from sharing sensitive information on the internet, and explain the impact of leaving undesirable digital footprints. Help them see that they should use the internet cautiously.

Additionally, it would be best to tell your kids how you expect them to behave online. Set ground rules around internet and tech devices, like limiting their screen time and asking that they don’t use their devices in the bedroom. 

Another clever way to stay informed about what your kids are doing on the internet is to join their social circles. Follow them on Instagram, befriend them on FaceBook, and watch their TikTok videos. 

Granted, they may not be very keen on being your friend on social media sites. But this does not mean that you should give up. If they are resistant at first, make it a precondition to accessing their devices. They will likely comply.

Use Parental Controls

An excellent way to put your mind at ease is to use parental control software on your children’s devices. These include filters that restrict your kids’ access to potentially inappropriate content. 

You could also use software that limits how much time kids can spend on their phones and tablets. If you think that your children are engaging in risky online behavior, you can install the best spying app for iphone on their devices. 

This allows you discreet yet unfettered access to their every activity, enabling you to act promptly on suspicious activity. 

In addition, spyware is highly effective with older kids who know how to erase their search history.

Put Devices in a Public Place

One of the best ways to ensure that you are always aware of your kids using their devices is to have them in a public place. Place the monitor such that you can quickly glance over it and get a general idea of what your children are viewing. 

You can also have a rule prohibiting screens in the bedroom where it is difficult to supervise your kids. 

However, this is not to say that you should be a helicopter parent. You don’t want your kids to view you as overbearing and controlling. Instead, you want them to know that you can see what they are generally doing but are happy to allow their independent internet exploration.

Use Tech With Your Kids

As a parent, embracing technology can open communication channels, you never imagined. Kids are generally more comfortable texting than speaking face to face. So take advantage of this fact and get to learn more about your kids.

Text them often to find out how they are doing. Send your kids images and videos that you find funny. If they consider you their friend, they will be forthcoming and will trust your guidance more.

Teach Your Kids What Not To Share

Be sure to teach your children never to share sensitive information online. This includes details of your home address, the school they attend, and your workplace. 

Sharing this information can seriously compromise your family’s security, and this is a risk your kids should know. 

Additionally, enlighten your children about the danger of sharing overly revealing photos online. If they are unsure about a specific picture, have them run the problem by you or an older sibling. 

This will prevent young kids from falling into the trap of shady internet users. 

Lead by Example

Finally, it would be best if you practiced what you preach. If you require your kids to adhere to any screen time guidelines, be sure to limit your use of screens as well. If you want them to be cautious in their online interactions, show them that you are careful as well. 

Parents who don’t lead by example find it much harder to get their kids to comply with their safe internet use guidelines. If you are irresponsible online, you won’t motivate your children to practice responsible online behavior. 

What’s worse, they might copy your actions and potentially expose themselves to danger.  

Keeping kids safe online requires a lot of parental involvement. You can start by befriending your kids, asking them to communicate often with you, and regularly checking to see that they are using the internet responsibly. 

Additionally, you can use parental control software to ensure that your kids are safe online. If you follow these tips, you will find it much easier to protect your kids from the dangers of the internet.

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Improving the User Experience of Your Business Website

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The user experience of your site can make or break its success. If it offers a poor user experience, it can immediately turn off your users, causing them to look elsewhere for the products or services that they need. User experience is all about how your users use your site and whether they’re satisfied with the experience it offers them. You might ask things such as whether the site is easy to navigate or whether it provides the information that your users are looking for. Improving the user experience (UX) of your site can help you to get more visitors, improve SEO, and boost your conversions too.

Know Your User

Before you can get your user experience right, you have to understand your user. You need to get to know them so you know what they’re looking for and how to make them happy. You can carry out market research to get to know your users, drawing from secondary sources and surveying people directly to find out what your audience wants from your website. Once you have that essential data, you can use it to make important decisions about the design of your website. It’s much better than designing a site without any knowledge of who it’s for.

Use Clear Calls to Action

Your website is an advertisement for your business. It might also be where people directly purchase and pay for your products or services. Its goal is to get users to follow a journey to becoming your customer. It needs to tell them what to do next and guide them through how to get what they want. One of the most important things to use on each page is a clear call to action. A call to action tells your visitor which action to take, whether it’s signing up for your newsletter, requesting a quote, or adding a product to their cart.

Make Your Site Accessible

Your website should be accessible for everyone, which includes making it usable for disabled people. You should think about the different needs that people may have, including how they can view and navigate your site. Some of the issues to consider might include color contrast, font size, keyboard navigation, subtitles for videos, transcripts for audio media, and how screen readers will view your site. You can find a few different tools that help you to determine how accessible your site is and what you can do to improve it.

Focus on Speed

Site speed is a major factor in user experience, and it’s also very important for SEO. If your site is slow, it won’t perform well in search engines and your users could leave much more quickly than you would like them to. Many things could slow down your site, leaving your visitors frustrated. You might have too many things on the page or perhaps you don’t have adequate hosting to support your site and its users. You can use online tools to test the speed of your site and each of the pages, and many will give you tips on how to improve the speed.

Test Your Design

Whatever your website design looks like, it’s always smart to test it and find out how it’s performing. You can test how people use your site, where they tend to click, and where their focus is. Using a tool like Userzoom’s click testing software, this sort of testing is easy. You get to see heatmaps, darkmaps, and click clusters so that you can see how people use your site. Using this information, you can make changes to your site to ensure you lead your users in the right direction.

Check Mobile Usability

More people than ever are using mobile devices. If you’re designing a website for your business, it’s vital that it’s usable for mobile users. They need to be able to use your site and have the same great experience as anyone using a desktop computer has. Your design should be responsive so that it adapts to different screen sizes and browsers, and can be used with both a touch screen and a keyboard and mouse. Mobile usability isn’t just important for UX but is also a factor that affects SEO.

Create a Scannable Site

Most people who visit your site aren’t going to read everything on it. They will take everything in by scanning each page, stopping on the bits that they feel are the most important. So it’s smart to think about how people might scan your site and how to make the information on the page easy to digest. Breaking text into small chunks helps to make it easier to scan. Similarly, using different font sizes for headings and paragraphs allows you to identify the main subject of each piece of copy. It’s also good for SEO if you use the right heading tags.

Keep It Simple

Some websites might need some complicated coding behind the scenes to make them work. However, when it comes to what your users see, you usually don’t want to make it too complicated. People want to be able to navigate around your site with ease and find what they’re looking for. Too many elements or complicated navigation will make it more difficult for people to get around your website. Keeping it simple is the best strategy if you want to satisfy your users.

Provide Engaging Content

When your website users are looking for valuable information, you can provide it through engaging content. Your content might include blog posts, videos, or even a podcast that covers topics that are relevant to your users. Publishing regular, fresh content keeps people engaged and it can be great for search engine optimization too. Your content can be both informative and entertaining, providing your users with interesting material that helps to move them along in their buying journey. It’s useful for securing new customers and keeping existing customers engaged too.

Improve the user experience for your business website and you could start to see more conversions and sales.

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The Key Approaches To Strengthen Your Business’s Data Security

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Data security threats have become a topic of much concern as of late. We’ve all seen news of breaches both severe enough and frequently enough to reconsider how we protect our business. If you’re concerned that your business doesn’t have the provisions to protect itself from such a threat, then here are some of the approaches that you might want to take a closer look at.

Understanding cyber attacks

First of all, it’s important to understand the nature of cyberattacks. They are any form of attack that’s designed to access and exploit your system and network. The goals can include deletion of data, erasure of it, as well as denying your own access to it. However, cyberattacks come in many forms, meaning that you need to ensure that you have a scope that’s defended in various ways. Look at some of the most common cyberattacks lately. They include not only hacking through security flaws but also making use of scams to trick your team and the proliferation of malware that can steal data for them. As such, there are four main approaches to preventing the threat of a cyberattack.

Install the right tools

Hackers and cybercriminals have a lot more options at their disposal, the more open that your system is. As such, you should take a look at the various kinds of cybersecurity software that you can install on your systems. Antimalware is all about finding and eliminating things like viruses and spyware that can change or steal your data. Firewalls prevent unauthorized access to your networks. Virtual private networks usually hide your connection to networks while also encrypting any of the data sent to or from your systems so that if someone were able to “eavesdrop” on your connection, they would be unable to make sense of the data being sent. Depending on the type of network you work with, all of these tools might be necessary.

Have a strong IT staff

As a business grows and it becomes more reliant on sensitive data that, if stolen or erased, could be a huge cost to the business, it becomes more important to make sure that the IT team you have is able to responsibly keep that data safe. As such, beyond your basic IT support, you need those who specialize in security. You can outsource to expand the team or hire more members, but you can also look at providing training such as a masters in cyber security online, which may be more cost-effective in the long run. What matters most is that you make sure you have someone with the right skills and understanding of cybersecurity on your team in the end.

Training a smarter team

The team that protects your business from cybersecurity threats isn’t just the IT specialists that should know better. Any individual who uses any of the endpoints, including apps, devices, and software that connects to your sensitive data should be well aware of their responsibility. Basic IT security training for all of your team should include things such as the following: recognizing scams that they should avoid, making sure they don’t leave their terminals alone while they are logged in, and the appropriate ways to report any evidence of a perceived breach. A large number of successful data breaches are caused by employees who did not perceive a potential threat, such as phishing scams or dodgy links that then lead to someone getting hold of their access data.

Adapting to new endpoints

As your business grows and its IT scope grows, you’re likely to start adding new hardware (such as PCs, tablets, and the like) to devices that can access the data you want to keep secure. Similarly, new software might make use of that data as well. It’s important that you and your IT team consider the security of each endpoint, making sure that it doesn’t open up any new breaches in the network that can’t easily be covered again. This is especially important in the age of remote working. You need to make sure that any devices that your employees use have the right tools on them to protect them from outside interference. This can mean, for instance, having the policy to provide VPNs and anti-malware for each employee that remote works and making sure they’re installed.

The pointers above are just the start. You need to take a more detailed look at each and every one of these considerations to make sure that you’re taking a comprehensive approach to preventing breaches and the massive reputational and financial damage that they can do to a business.

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