A numerical perspective on Nature authors.

At the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, Dirk De Vos is one of seven permanent researchers at the Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis. He supervises a number of students, and firmly believes in nurturing their talent. De Vos says he is no fan of regimented progress reports; instead he tries to have informal catch-ups with his charges a few times every week. The best discussions, he says, are often those that arise while examining real data with the group.

De Vos also encourages his students to keep time free for thinking, reading and being creative, as well as for collaborating with other groups in and beyond Belgium. Such collaborations recently led his team to use a fluorescence microscope to count, one by one, the product molecules that form at the surface of a solid catalyst (see page 572).

3 Nature papers published in 2006 have contributing authors working in Belgium (total papers published to date = 91).

22 submissions have been made to Nature in the past year from the Catholic University of Leuven.

3,200 publications from the Catholic University of Leuven appear in peer-reviewed journals every year.

US$266.7 million was spent by the Catholic University of Leuven on research in 2004.