U.S. Leadership in Science and Engineering Threatened
A study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that the US is losing its dominance in science and engineering fields as other nations are producing more graduates and offer more employment opportunities.
A Reuters news article summarizes the research article:
In 2000, the paper said, 17 percent of university bachelor degrees in the U.S. were in science and engineering compared with a world average of 27 percent and 52 percent in China.
The picture among doctorates -- key to advanced scientific research -- was more striking. In 2001, universities in the European Union granted 40 percent more science and engineering doctorates than the United States, with that figure expected to reach nearly 100 percent by about 2010, the study showed.
The study said deteriorating opportunities and comparative wages for young science and engineering graduates has discouraged U.S. students from entering these fields, but not those born in other countries.
The researchers propose that:
Diminished comparative advantage in high-tech will create a long period of adjustment for US workers, of which the off-shoring of IT jobs to India, growth of high-tech production in China, and multinational R&D facilities in developing countries, are harbingers. To ease the adjustment to a less dominant position in science and engineering, the US will have to develop new labor market and R&D policies that build on existing strengths and develop new ways of benefitting from scientific and technological advances in other countries.
I think the pro-factual, pro-scientific climate created by the Bushies oughtta be just the ticket!
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