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a Trabant car
Norbert Aepli, Switzerland
The Trabant is a car that was produced from 1957 to 1991 in the former East German Republic (GDR). During the 34 years it was produced, only very minor technical changes were made to the car. It polluted more than 10 times what is allowed for cars today, it was a frequent visitor to the workshop and had a top speed of 100 km/h. Without development and innovation, a Trabant could still be a top model among passenger cars.

Danish research is slowing down

We are used to hearing reports about how fantastic Danish research is doing internationally with ground-breaking results across a wide spectrum.

In 2012, the former Secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Gunnar Öquist, called Danish research "a Scandinavian miracle" and there was no end to the Swedish praise.

But now the Novo Nordisk Foundation and the Villum Foundation have asked two researchers, Jesper Wiborg Schneider and Maria Theresa Norn, to make a new study of the Danish research efforts on the basis of publications in scientific journals.

The report shows that Danish research has made great progress in the period from 1980-2020. But in the last 12 years it has actually gone backwards in several areas compared to the other countries. So even if Denmark has done really well, e.g. articles in the 10% most prestigious journals declined.

It was therefore tempting to ask Senior Vice President Thomas Alslev Christensen from the Novo Nordisk Foundation how the foundations view the results of their report, and whether the public and private foundations invest too little in Danish research.

Science Journalist Jens Degett interviews Thomas Alslev Christensen from the Novo Nordisk Foundation (in Danish).

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