The global community must ensure that countries lagging in science do not fall further behind, says Mohamed H. A. Hassan.
In an editorial in Science, the executive director of The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), describes the scientific community as being divided into three worlds: the science-rich North, the surging South and the stagnant South.
Scientists from developing countries currently contribute about 20 per cent of articles published in peer-reviewed international journals, with more than half coming from Brazil, China, India, Mexico and Turkey.
Hassan points out that the economic progress seen in the South is due in large part to the building of scientific capacity, which also benefits the rest of the world.
But he adds that this represents only "partial success" as "the global scientific community should care about countries that remain scientifically deficient".
Hassan says that while the twenty-fifth anniversary of TWAS next month (November) is an occasion to celebrate the scientific successes of some developing countries, those still stagnating scientifically should not be forgotten either.
Science 322, 505 (2008)