The report and a “2020 Research Frontiers Heat Map” was set up by the CAS Strategic Consulting Institute of Science and Technology, the CAS Literature Intelligence Center and CredoVian, a Shanghai-based Technology Transfer Center. It covers 110 hot frontiers and 38 emerging frontiers in 11 disciplines: agricultural sciences, botany and zoology, ecology and environmental sciences, earth sciences, clinical medicine, biological sciences, chemistry and materials science, physics, astronomy and astrophysics, mathematics, information science, economics, psychology and other social sciences.The analysis was based on the impact factors of scientific publications from 2014-2019, with the following results:
· In the 11 subject areas as a whole, the U.S. ranked first, with a score of 226 (all scores rounded), followed by China with a score of 151. The United Kingdom and Germany ranked 3rd and 4th with scores of 78 and 74. Japan was on position 12 with a score of 30.
· China ranked first in 4 fields: (1) agricultural sciences, botany and zoology, (2) chemistry and materials science, (3) mathematics, and (4) information science.
· In chemistry and materials science, China’s “Frontier Heat Index” score of 40 was 2.7 times higher than that of the USA with a score of 15 points. Singapore, Germany and South Korea were ranked 3-5 with scores of 4, 3 and 2, respectively.
· Relatively weak rankings were observed for China in clinical medicine. However, China’s ranking improved significantly in these fields as well over the past 5 years.