Europe is falling further behind the US in the biosciences, according to a survey, writes Jane Marshall in Paris.
The study, sponsored by the Fondation pour l'Innovation Politique and presented at a conference in Paris last week, ranks leading universities and research institutes in Europe and North America in what the authors called a "life sciences excellence index". The index was based on criteria including the impact arising from institutions' articles on life sciences and biotechnologies published between 1999 and 2003 in leading scientific journals, and the estimated expenditure for articles with high-impact factors.
Scores ranged between 0.48 per cent and 12.41 per cent on the index, with a mean of 2.28 per cent. Ten of the top 15 institutions were based in the US and five in Europe, including Britain's Medical Research Council and Cambridge and Oxford universities. The Salk Institute in California was ranked highest and the European Union's Molecular Biology Laboratory second.