France is the second largest country in Europe and has the largest land area of all the countries in Western Europe. France is one of the popular destinations to world tourists. Every year, around 60 million tourists visit France. There are several large international airports in France for which it is considered as gateway to Europe. French is the official language spoken in France. Paris is the capital city of France and is the largest city in the country. Paris has about one-sixth of the France’s population. Over 83–88% of the population are Roman Catholics.
France has a total land area of 547,030 square kilometers. It measures 962 km from north to south and 950 km from east to west. France has a total boundary of 6,316 km of which 3,427 km is coastline. France has North Sea and Belgium to the north, Luxembourg and Germany to the north east, Switzerland and Italy to the east, Mediterranean Sea to the south, Andorra and Spain to the south west, Bay of Biscay and the Atlantic Ocean to the west and English Channel to the north west..
France’s economy is the sixth-largest by nominal figures and the ninth largest by PPP in the world and third-largest in Europe next to Germany and the UK. France's Chemical industry and tourism add major share to its economy. The technology hub, Sophia Antipolis is also a major component for France’s economy. As per the 2010 report by Credit Suisse's Global Wealth, France stood as wealthiest European country having 2.6 million dollar-millionaires. In 2013, The IMF reported France as world's 20th nation by GDP per capita with $44,099 per individual.
To promote research excellence, France government is planning for major changes in research system. In France, 412,000 individuals are employed in research spread by 40% in the public sector and 60% in the private sector. French publications occupy place in top 4 in terms of significant impact to the world research community. Globally, France is ranked 4th to receive more number of Nobel prizes (61). Recent noble prize awardees of France origin are Patrick Modiano (literature, 2014), Jean Tirole (Economy, 2014), Serge Haroche (Physics, 2012) and Jules Hoffmann (Medicine, 2011). Major areas of research in France are biotechnology applied to agriculture, animal health and food safety, nutrition and obesity, environmental concerns, economical and sociological aspects of agriculture cooperation with developing countries. Major research centers in France are CNRS, INRA, INSERM, etc. The Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) ranked first with respect to number of scientific publications.
In France, Nephrology is a distinct speciality. 23 research Units mainly involved in Nephrology. Twenty other departments involved in renal and urogenital diseases. Nephrology is almost always performed in hospitals. Units of nephrology research are shared between the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS).