Special Feature about Research in Korea in SNSF’s Horizons Magazine

Horizons, a magazine on scientific research published every month by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, focused their March 2016 edition as  “Asian research offensive,” and featured articles from three different countries in Asia – Korea, China and Saudi Arabia.

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“Asian research offensive” discussed how research growth in Asia has become a game changer on the international science scene. Asia is currently the only continent with a steady rise of scientific publications whereas North America’s share is decreasing and Europe’s is stagnating.

With these interesting developments taking place in Asia, Horizons asked three journalists in Asia to investigate how the balance of power is shifting in international research. For Korea, Mark Zastrow – a freelance science journalist based in Seoul – reported on Korea’s development and rise contributed by the technology/innovation giants such as Samsung, LG and Hyundai.

The article on science in Korea included a special feature about Bernhard Egger, a Swiss Professor who is currently Vice-Dean of Seoul National University’s College of Engineering for his insights. Professor Egger earned his PhD at SNU and joined Samsung’s Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) in 2008. Later, he returned to the academia as a professor at SNU, still collaborating with Samsung researchers while currently leading one of five research groups funded by Samsung.

Many of the Korean technology and industrial giants have a tradition of supporting applied research but are now even funding basic research centres and Prof Egger embodies this industrial-academic dynamic of Korea from personal experience.

The article however also urged caution about the heavily application-focused approach of research in Asia and mentions that to be truly “creative”, Korea needs to emancipate itself from from its industrial giants.

Read the full article by Horizons here.