Every year, scientists whose publications have been most frequently cited are selected. They are considered to be particularly influential in their field. This year, two scientists are featured on the coveted list.
Influencers - as known from social media - are associated with attributes such as prominence and impact. But they do not only exist in social media. In science, the influence of researchers is not measured by "followers" or "likes", but by how often their work is cited by other scientists. Only the authors of the one percent of the most cited scientific papers in various disciplines are awarded the title of "Highly Cited Researcher" by the analysis company Clarivate. The list identifies and recognizes exceptional researchers with a significant impact on the research community.
Two pioneers in their scientific fields
This year, two researchers are featured on the "Highly Cited Researchers" list: Bernd Nowack and Maksym Kovalenko. Nowack, an environmental scientist, heads a research group in Empa’s Technology and Society laboratory that studies, among other things, the environmental impact of various nanomaterials. His high-profile work on microplastics and the spread of nanomaterials in the environment secured Nowack a spot on the ranking list for the ninth year in a row.
Maksym Kovalenko, who also holds a professorship for inorganic materials at ETH Zurich, focuses on developing novel functional materials for energy generation and storage. His research on luminescent nanoparticles led to breakthroughs, for which he received numerous awards. This year, Kovalenko appears on the list for the fifth time in a row.
Switzerland in ninth place
A total of 112 Swiss researchers are represented on the Clarivate list in 2022, or 1.6% of all highly cited scientists. With a ninth place in the ranking, Switzerland has improved by one place compared to last year. The USA has been at the top of the ranking for years, with 2,764 researchers or 38.3 percent. China takes second place with 1,169 researchers (16.2 percent), followed by the United Kingdom, Germany and Australia.