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Two Manchester innovation scholars on the 2020 Highly Cited Researcher list

Two academics from the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research (MIoIR) at Alliance MBS have appeared in a global ‘who’s who’ list of influential researchers for 2020.

Jonatan Pinkse, Professor of Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Frank Geels, Professor of System Innovation and Sustainability, are both named in Clarivate’s 2020 list of Highly Cited Researchers (HCR) which identifies researchers who have demonstrated significant influence in their chosen field or fields through the publication of multiple highly cited papers over the last decade.

Clarivate’s 2020 list recognises fewer than 6,200 researchers, or about 0.1% of the world’s researchers, from more than 60 countries. In total, 17 academics from across The University of Manchester appear in this year’s list across fields including medicine, computer science, engineering, materials science, biology, pharmacology, physics and psychiatry. However Jonatan and Frank are the only two social scientists from the University in the list.


Professor Pinkse, who is also Executive Director of MIoIR, said it was immensely gratifying to appear in the listing for the first time.

“As Clarivate say, this is recognition for research I have been carrying out over the past decade and is based on a portfolio of work rather than one single paper. One of my main areas of research has been writing about sustainability and climate change and particularly at how businesses are responding to the challenge. As such, although I identify as a management scholar, my research is also very applicable to a general readership and my work often appears in innovation and sustainability journals which have a very broad readership across social sciences.”

For Professor Geels, who has appeared in the annual Clarivate listing before, it is yet further recognition after he was recently recognised as one of the most cited scholars in the world by the Stanford Meta-Research Centre across all fields and disciplines.

He added: “I am delighted to be on the HCR list again which represents recognition of my work over the last 20 years, during which I have placed a new topic (socio-technical system transitions) on the research agenda of environmental social science and innovation studies, developed an inter-disciplinary theoretical framework, and helped to create a new academic community, the Sustainability Transitions Research Network.”

Global listing

The US continues to dominate the list with 2,650 authors and Harvard University, with 188 researchers, is the institution with the highest concentration of highly cited researchers in the world.

Mainland China is now the home to 770 (12.1%) researchers on the list, up from 636 (10.2%) in 2019. Its rank has been boosted by the entry into the top ten institutions of Tsinghua University, Beijing, together with the arrival of Peking and Zhejiang Universities into the upper echelons of the list. Singapore also shows strongly, represented by Nanyang Technological University and National University of Singapore.

After the US and China, the UK has the third highest number of researchers on the list with 514 academics (8%), followed by Germany with 345 (5.4%). The Max Planck Society in Germany is the highest ranked institution in Europe.