Monday, July 23, 2012

2012 Statistics from the German Science Foundation

The German Science Foundation (DFG) has recently released statistics and tables about science funding in Germany and, in some cases, the European Union. You can find all the numbers on this website. If they have an English version, I couldn't find it, so let me pick out for you some graphics that I found interesting.

First, here's a graphic for the national investment in research and development as a percentage of the GDP by country (click to enlarge).

From top to bottom the list shows Israel, Finland, Sweden, Japan, Korea, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, USA, Austria, Iceland, OECD total, France, Australia, Belgium, Canada, EU-27, Great Britain, Slovenia, Netherlands, Norway. I'm not surprised to see Sweden scoring high, but I am surprised that the Netherlands invest less than Great Britain. The color code from top to bottom says universities, other research institutes, industry, private non-profit.

Second graphic shows the distribution of ERC grants by country and field of research. The color code is: orange - humanities and social sciences, red - life sciences, green - natural sciences, blue - engineering. It would be interesting to see these numbers compared to the population, but they have no respective graph. It says in the text however that Israel and Switzerland have secured a very large number of grants relative to population. I have no clue why there's an arrow pointing to Iceland, maybe just so you don't miss it.


Finally, let me pick out a third graphic. It shows the fraction of women among those contributing to DFG projects (principal investigator, co-PI and so on). The fields shown are from left to right: humanities, social sciences, biology, medicine, veterinary medicine, chemistry, physics, mathematics, geology, mechanical engineering, computer science and electronics, architecture. The horizontal line at 15% with the label "Durchschnitt" is the average.


As usual, the female ratio in physics is on the lower end, something like 7 or 8%. I don't know what's wrong with architecture, which seems to have an even lower ratio. In the text to the graphic it says that the fraction is the same or similar to the fraction of woman among the applicants. You can apply for funding with the DFG as soon as you have a PhD. The fraction one sees in the graphic is more representative however of the female ratio in tenured faculty. Not surprisingly so, because it is difficult to get institutional funding (except possibly scholarships) without faculty support, and few try. (I did. Unsuccessfully.)

On the lighter side, I note that the Germans have adopted the English word "gender analysis" and made it into "Gender-Analyse."

8 comments:

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

In as what I do for a living relates to one which serves the architectural business I can tell you the scarcity of women in this industry is not just a German or European phenomena. What makes it stranger is I can’t identify any barriers that would have this to be so other than for some reason women find it too mundane.


Best,

Phil

Bee said...

Hi Phil,

That is funny, I had no clue. It just so happens that the only architects I know are female. Statistical fluctuation, I guess, small sample. Since every theoretical physicists seems to have their own "theory" of just exactly why there are so few women in physics, what's the theory of the architects?

Best,

B.

Giotis said...

That's not Cyprus, it's Crete!

These guys must be completely ignorant:-)

Bee said...

Right... Then maybe "Iceland" is actually the Faroe islands ;o) Best,

B.

Giotis said...

The arrow denotes the origin of the actual position of the country (like in the case of Israel). Probably due to limited space the actual position of the country could not be displayed.

Professor R said...

Anything on Ireland? Is investment so low it desn't feature?
CORMAC

Uncle Al said...

Hot scientists are mutant smart, autistic, and obsessive-compulsive. They are not folks hoarding baubles and waiting to die. Seek the outliers and cherish them - both sexes. Males are particulary gifted here for being aggressive slobs. Wash up afterwards, if at all.

"orange - humanities and social sciences" A social advocate makes virtue of failure. The worse the cure the more that is required. Diversity solves the paradox of want amidst plenty by destroying the plenty. Diversity is empirical crap.

Oppressive Kinder, K├╝che, Kirche, und Kleider is now sterile futile employment while underclasses furiously breed. Decouple money from objective value. A society booms on cheap credit then collapses when bills come due. The cycle is two generations or 40 years - spend, party, hangover. Civilization abandoned the gold standard on 15 August 1971. tick, tick, tick...

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

I don’t think they have any theories, that is at least in so far as any I’ve heard expressed. One trend I have noticed is with the subfields being currently developed, such as interior design, where women stand far and away to comprise the largest group. This has had me come up with my own theory, being when it comes to creating environments many women seem to concentrate on their more immediate and personal space, which translates to that of others if acting in an advisory or creative capacity. This all becomes interesting when one considers windows for instance, where the difference between their inside and outside architectural impact becomes something needed to be taken into consideration within the context of the whole.

Best,

Phil