Volume 1, Issue 1 – 2011

In this issue, academic leaders from the University of Oxford; the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; and National Tsing Hua University share their perspectives on collaboration within global and national contexts. Read about changes in the global scientific scene and their implications, the winner-take-all aspect of the American system of higher education, and drivers behind a new university system in Taiwan.

Global scientific collaboration and global problems

By Chris Llewellyn Smith, University of Oxford

The global scientific landscape has changed dramatically in the last two decades. Since the beginning of the century, global spending on research and development has nearly doubled, and the number of scientific publications has grown by almost a third. This article, based on the Royal Society's "Knowledge, networks and nations: Global scientific collaboration in the 21st century," describes changes in the global scientific scene and analyses their implications.

Eye on America: Working with and within a winner-take-all competitive system

By Brad Fenwick, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

In the winner-take-all system, everyone pays to compete but only one person walks away with the prize. In the competition for grants and contracts, the investment in infrastructure is enormous if you want to remain competitive. As the cost of winning goes up, the resources become scarcer, the prizes become more precious, and the bidding rises. It is increasingly clear that the focus must be on the development of systems that enhance institutional productivity and effectiveness.

A new Taiwanese university system begins to take shape amid major societal shifts

Interview with Da Hsuan Feng, National Tsing Hua University

The Academic Executive Brief interviews Da Hsuan Feng about the formation of the University System of Taiwan. People in Taiwan realized that merging the four universities would be virtually impossible because of the extremely competitive climate within Taiwanese higher education. Instead, another model was proposed to achieve some sort of commonality for competing not only nationally, but globally.

Why scientists don't share and why they should

By Andrew Plume, Elsevier

Historically, studies have shown and continue to demonstrate that researchers desire to disseminate information and further knowledge within their disciplines. But they are also fundamentally human and susceptible to the drivers that motivate us all, including advancement and competition.