Just as in the social media world the influence of individuals is measured by the number of followers, scientists are measured by how often their publications are cited by their peers. The company Clarivate evaluates the number of these citations and, in addition to the most influential scientific nations and institutions, also selects the most influential scientists each year. In 2020, Bernd Nowack from Empa's «Technology and Society» lab appears on the list of «Highly Cited Researchers» for the seventh year running. Maksym Kovalenko, who also holds a professorship at ETH Zurich and conducts research at Empa in the «Thin Films and Photovoltaics" lab, has received this award for the third year in succession.
Two pioneers in their fields
To compile the ranking, the publications of more than 6000 scientists worldwide from different fields of the natural and social sciences were analyzed. These publications were published between January 2009 and December 2019. Scientists are included in the «Highly Cited Researchers» list if their publications belong to the Top-one percent with respect to the number of citations.
With his research on microplastics and nanomaterials and their impact on the environment, Bernd Nowack often carries out pioneering work and his research is frequently cited by his peers. Nowack appears on the list of «Highly Cited Researchers» for the seventh time in a row.
Maksym Kovalenko, who holds the professorship for functional inorganic materials at ETH Zurich since August 2020, focuses on developing novel functional materials for energy generation and storage. His research on luminescent nanoparticles led to breakthroughs, for which he had received various awards. This year, Kovalenko appears on the list for the third time in a row.
Altogether, Switzerland ranks ninth in the country competition with a total of 154 «Highly Cited Researchers», whereby the USA has been leading the ranking for years with more than 2000 influential researchers on the list.