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Leading academics are among the world’s most “influential scientific minds”

University of Exeter researchers among world’s ‘most influential scientific minds’, says new ranking

Leading academics from the University of Exeter – including an authority on plastics pollution – are among the world’s most “influential scientific minds”, according to a new ranking.

Twelve Exeter scientists feature in an authoritative new list of the most highly cited researchers worldwide, produced by Clarivate Analytics.

The ranking looks at which research is cited by other academics in their published papers.

It lists researchers, across 21 fields, who produced a “notable” number of highly cited papers in Clarivate’s Web of Science database over the period 2005-2015.

They include  Professor Tamara Galloway, one of the world’s foremost experts on plastics pollution, who gave evidence to Parliament that helped bring about a ban on microplastics.

Professor Andrew Hattersley FRS, a diabetes expert appointed CBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list  this year, has won a string of international awards for his work on diagnosis and treatment, including breakthroughs on genetics and treating babies.

Fellow diabetes expert Professor Tim Frayling, who recently published findings showing that poor sleep can have a role in obesity and Type 2 diabetes, is another Exeter academic to feature on the list, highlighting Exeter’s world-leading reputation in diabetes research. 

Astrid Wissenburg, Director of Research at the University of Exeter, said: “This is an acknowledgement of Exeter’s cutting-edge research, ranging from diabetes to plastic pollution in the ocean.

“Exeter’s academic teams are addressing the big issues of the day, including hunger in the developing world due to destruction of crops from disease, to climate change. 

The strength of our academics’ research and its relevance to today’s problems is acknowledged by their academic peers around the world, and this is demonstrated by the number of citations they receive in other academics’ research.”

Professor Peter Cox, Professor Pierre Friedlingstein and Dr Veronika Eyring and Dr Chris Huntingford all from Mathematics, and Professor Stephen Sitch from Geography feature in the Geosciences category, while Professor Neil Adger features in the Social Sciences section.

In addition, Professor Kevin Gaston of the Environment and Sustainability Institute on the Penryn Campus features in the environment/ecology category, as well as Professor Nick Talbot FRS, who leads a research group on how fungi cause disease in plants. He is an authority on rice blast, which devastates rice crops which millions of people depend on. Professor Talbot is ranked in the Plant and Animal Science category.

Professor Hattersley, Professor Frayling and Dr Michael Weedon from the University of Exeter Medical School, who are involved in research to combat some of the most challenging healthcare issues such as diabetes and obesity, were named in the Molecular Biology and Genetics category.

Professor Talbot, who is also Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Impact), said: “To have so many scientists feature in this worldwide ranking is an outstanding achievement for them, and for Exeter.

“I would like to offer my congratulations to all the world-class scientists whose hard work and excellent research has generated this well-deserved recognition.

“The fact that so many researchers, across a number of different categories, have been included demonstrates the reach and quality of research being carried out across the institution.”

Authors are selected on the basis of highly-cited papers – defined as those that rank in the top 1 per cent by citations for field and publication year – to allow researchers at the beginning of their careers to be considered alongside established names.

Date: 17 November 2017

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