Recent report by Canadian Council of Academies lists Physics and Astronomy as one of six research fields in which Canada excels

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The report released by the Council of Canadian Academies builds upon the previous report released in 2006. It was prepared for the Government of Canada in response to a request from the Minister of Industry. The report was prepared by a panel of 18 members from Canada and international who examined the output and impact of Canadian publications and patents, surveyed Canadian science and technology experts and analysed the highly qualified personnel. The report released earlier this year “provides a thorough analysis of the scientific disciplines and technological applications where Canada excels in a global context. It also identifies Canada’s S&T strengths, regional specializations, and emerging research areas.”

Quoting from the report, the key findings include the following:

  • The six research fields in which Canada excels (listed in alphabetical order) are: clinical medicine, historical studies, information and communication technologies (ICT), physics and astronomy, psychology and cognitive sciences, and visual and performing arts. In addition, the Panel identified nine sub-fields in which Canada leads the world in scientific impact: anatomy and morphology, astronomy and astrophysics, business and management, classics, criminology, dermatology and venereal diseases, general and internal medicine, nuclear and particles physics, zoology.
  • Canada produces 4.1 per cent of the world’s research papers and nearly 5 per cent of the world’s most frequently cited papers.
  • The overall impact of Canadian S&T, as measured by Average Relative Citations ranks Canada as 6th in the world. On a field‑by‑field basis, Canada’s rankings placed it among the five leading countries in the world in 7 of 22 fields of research, and among the 10 leading countries in a further 14 fields.
  • Canada holds only 1.7 per cent of world patents, but excels in international comparisons of quality, with citations to patents, ranking second in the world, behind the United States.
  • In a survey of over 5,000 leading international scientists, Canada’s scientific research enterprise was ranked fourth highest in the world, after the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany.
  • Canada is part of a network of international science and technology collaboration that includes the most scientifically advanced countries in the world. Canada is also attracting high-quality researchers from abroad, such that over the past decade there has been a net migration of researchers into the country.
  • Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, and Alberta are the powerhouses of Canadian S&T, together accounting for 97 per cent of total Canadian output in terms of research papers. These provinces also have the best performance in patent-related measures and the highest per capita numbers of doctoral students, accounting for more than 90 per cent of doctoral graduates in Canada in 2009.
  • Several fields of specialization were identified in other provinces, such as: agriculture, fisheries, and forestry in Prince Edward Island and Manitoba; historical studies in New Brunswick; biology in Saskatchewan; as well as earth and environmental sciences in Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia.

More details on the report can be found at: