Sadly this isn’t my backyard. I would love to see a mountain lion like this. So close. A real wild mountain lion. And I am safe.
Posts about USA
H-index Rank for Countries: for Science Publications
The SCImago Journal and Country Rank provides journal and country scientific indicators. As stated in previous posts, these types of rankings have limitations but they are also interesting. The table shows the top 6 countries by h-index and then some others I chose to list (the top 6 repeat from my post in 2008 – Country H-index Rank for Science Publications). The h-index provides a numeric indication of scientific production and significance (by looking at the citations given papers by other papers). Read more about the h-index (Hirsh index).
|Country||h-index||h-index (2007)||% of World
|Additional countries of interest|
|21) South Korea||258||161||.7%||2,710,566|
Related: Top Countries for Science and Math Education: Finland, Hong Kong and Korea – Worldwide Science and Engineering Doctoral Degree Data – Top 15 Manufacturing Countries in 2009 – Science and Engineering Doctoral Degrees Worldwide – Ranking Universities Worldwide (2008) – Government Debt as Percentage of GDP 1990-2009: USA, Japan, Germany, China…
Poor Results on Evolution and Big Bang Questions Omitted From NSF Report
Evolution, Big Bang Polls Omitted From NSF Report by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee
The USA continues to lag far behind the rest of the world in this basic science understanding. Similar to how we lag in other science and mathematical education. Nearly Half of Adults in the USA Don’t Know How Long it Takes the Earth to Circle the Sun.
I completely agree. People have the right to their opinions. But those opinions which are related to scientific knowledge (whether it is about evolution, the origin of the universe, cancer, the speed of light, polio vaccinations, multi-factorial designed experiments, magnetic fields, chemical catalysts, the effectiveness of antibiotics against viral infections, electricity, optics, bioaccumulation, etc.) are part of their scientific literacy. You can certainly believe antibiotics are affective against viral infections but that is an indication you are scientifically illiterate on that topic.
President Obama Speaks on Getting Students Excited About Science and Engineering
The President announces the “Educate to Innovate” initiative, a campaign to get students excited about pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Quotes from President Obama from his speech – (see webcast above):
“As President, I believe that robotics can inspire young people to pursue science and engineering.”
“Now the hard truth is that for decades we’ve been losing ground. One assessment shows American 15-year-olds now rank 21st in science and 25th in math when compared to their peers around the world.”
“And today, I’m announcing that we’re going to have an annual science fair at the White House with the winners of national competitions in science and technology. If you win the NCAA championship, you come to the White House. Well, if you’re a young person and you’ve produced the best experiment or design, the best hardware or software, you ought to be recognized for that achievement, too. Scientists and engineers ought to stand side by side with athletes and entertainers as role models, and here at the White House we’re going to lead by example. We’re going to show young people how cool science can be.”
“improving education in math and science is about producing engineers and researchers and scientists and innovators who are going to help transform our economy and our lives for the better.”
Related: 2008 Intel Science Talent Search – Report on K-12 Science Education in USA – Fun k-12 Science and Engineering Learning – Science Education in the 21st Century – High School Inventor Teams @ MIT – Engineering Education Program for k-12 – 76 Nobel Laureates in Science Endorse Obama – Lego Learning
Re-engineering the Food System for Better Health
Obesity is widespread due to our national-scale system of food production and distribution, which surrounds children – especially lower-income children – with high-calorie products…
90 percent of American food is processed – according to the United States Department of Agriculture – meaning it has been mixed with ingredients, often acting as preservatives, that can make food fattening.
Now, in another report finished this October after meetings with food-industry leaders, the MIT and Columbia researchers propose a solution: America should increase its regional food consumption.
Only 1 to 2 percent of all food consumed in the United States today is locally produced. But the MIT and Columbia team, which includes urban planners and architects, believes widespread adoption of some modest projects could change that, by increasing regional food production and distribution.
To help production, the group advocates widespread adoption of small-scale innovations such as “lawn to farm” conversions in urban and suburban areas, and the “10 x 10 project,” an effort to develop vegetable plots in schools and community centers. Lawns require more equipment, labor and fuel than industrial farming nationwide, yet produce no goods. But many vegetables, including lettuce, cucumbers and peppers, can be grown efficiently in small plots.
As Albright sees it, the effort to produce healthier foods “fits right in with the health-care reform effort right now because chronic diseases are so costly for the nation.” America currently spends $14 billion annually treating childhood obesity, and $147 billion treating all forms of obesity.
Good stuff. We need to improve health in the USA. The current system is unhealthy and needs to be improved. The public good from improving the health of society is huge (both in terms of individual happiness and economic benefits).
Related: Rethinking the Food Production System – Study Finds Obesity as Teen as Deadly as Smoking – Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. – Active Amish Avoid Obesity – Obesity Epidemic Explained – Another Strike Against Cola
Energy Secretary Steve Chu Speaks On Funding Science Research
Energy Secretary Steve Chu (and Nobel Laureate) speaks with Google CEO Eric Schmidt about science research. One of the things Steve Chu is doing is funding high risk experiments that have great potential. This is something that is often said should be done but then people resort to safe investments in research. Taking these risks is a very good idea.
This is another example the remarkable way Google operates. The CEO actually understands science and the public good. Google also provides a huge amount of great material online in the form of webcasts of those speaking at Google. Google behaves like a company run by engineers. Other companies have engineers in positions of power but behave like companies run by any MBAs (whether they are lawyers, accountants, marketers or engineers).
Related: President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology – Scientists and Engineers in Congress – Eric Schmidt on Google, Education and Economics – Larry Page on How to Change the World – Diplomacy and Science Research – Google Investing Huge Sums in Renewable Energy and is Hiring
2008 National Medals of Science and National Medals of Technology and Innovation
The winners of the 2008 National Medals of Science, and National Medals of Technology and Innovation, have been announced. The recipients will receive the awards a White House ceremony in October.
“These scientists, engineers and inventors are national icons, embodying the very best of American ingenuity and inspiring a new generation of thinkers and innovators,” President Obama said. “Their extraordinary achievements strengthen our nation every day – not just intellectually and technologically but also economically, by helping create new industries and opportunities that others before them could never have imagined.”
National Medal of Science
Dr. Berni Alder, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, CA
Dr. Francis Collins, National Institutes of Health, MD
Dr. Joanna Fowler, Brookhaven National Laboratory, NY
Dr. Elaine Fuchs, The Rockefeller University, NY
Dr. James Gunn, Princeton University, NJ
Dr. Rudolf Kalman, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich
Dr. Michael Posner, University of Oregon, OR
Dr. JoAnne Stubbe, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MA
Dr. J. Craig Venter, J. Craig Venter Institute, MD & CA
National Medal of Technology and Innovation
Dr. Forrest M. Bird, Percussionaire Corp., ID
Dr. Esther Sans Takeuchi, University at Buffalo, SUNY, NY
Team: Dr. John E. Warnock and Dr. Charles M. Geschke (Adobe Systems Inc., CA)
Company: IBM Corporation, NY
Global Installed Wind Power Now Over 1.5% of Global Electricity Demand
Globally 27,339 MW of capacity were added in 2008, bringing the total to 121,188 MW, a 29% increase. The graph shows the top 10 producers (with the exceptions of Denmark and Portugal) and includes Japan (which is 13th).
In 2007, Europe had for 61% of installed capacity and the USA 18%. At the end of 2008 Europe had 55% of installed capacity, North America 23%, Asia 20%, Australia 1.5%, Latin America .6% and Africa .5%. Country shares of global capacity at the end of 2008: USA 21%, Germany 20%, Spain 14%, China 10%, India 8% (those 5 countries account for 73% of global capacity).
USA capacity grew 50% in 2008, moving it into the global lead for the first time in a decade. China grew 107%, the 3rd year in a row it more than doubled capacity.
Related: Wind Power Provided Over 1% of Global Electricity in 2007 – USA Wind Power Installed Capacity 1981 to 2005 – Wind Power has the Potential to Produce 20% of Electricity by 2030 – Top 12 Manufacturing Countries in 2007
Keeping Out Technology Workers is not a Good Economic Strategy
The barriers between countries, related to jobs, are decreasing. Jobs are more international today than 20 years ago and that trend will continue. People are going to move to different countries to do jobs (especially in science, engineering and advanced technology). The USA has a good market on those jobs (for many reasons). But there is nothing that requires those jobs to be in the USA.
The biggest impact of the USA turning away great scientists and engineers will be that they go to work outside the USA and increase the speed at which the USA loses its place as the leading location for science, engineering and technology work. This is no longer the 1960’s. Back then those turned away by the USA had trouble finding work elsewhere that could compete with the work done in the USA. If the USA wants to isolate ourselves (with 5% of the population) from a fairly open global science and engineering job market, other countries will step in (they already are trying, realizing what a huge economic benefit doing so provides).
Those other countries will be able to put together great centers of science and engineering innovation. Those areas will create great companies that create great jobs. I can understand wanting this to be 1960, but wanting it doesn’t make it happen.
You could go even further and shut off science and engineering students access to USA universities (which are the best in the world). That would put a crimp in plans for a very short while. Soon many professors would move to foreign schools. The foreign schools would need those professors, and offer a great deal of pay. And those professors would need jobs as their schools laid off professors as students disappeared. Granted the best schools and best professors could stay in the USA, but plenty of very good ones would leave.
I just don’t think the idea of closing off the companies in the USA from using foreign workers will work. We are lucky now that, for several reasons, it is still easiest to move people from Germany, India, Korea, Mexico and Brazil all to the USA to work on advanced technology projects. The advantage today however, is much much smaller than it was 30 years ago. Today just moving all those people to some other location, say Singapore, England, Canada or China will work pretty well (and 5 years from now will work much better in whatever locations start to emerge as the leading alternative sites). Making the alternative of setting up centers of excellence outside the USA more appealing is not a good strategy for those in the USA wanting science, engineering and computer programming jobs. We should instead do what we can to encourage more companies in the USA that are centralizing technology excellence in the USA.
Comment on Reddit discussion.
Related: Science and Engineering in Global Economics – Global technology job economy – Countries Should Encourage Immigration of Technology Workers – The Software Developer Labor Market – What Graduates Should Know About an IT Career – Relative Engineering Economic Positions – China’s Technology Savvy Leadership – Education, Entrepreneurship and Immigration – The Future is Engineering – Global Technology Leadership
USA Losing Scientists and Engineers Educated in the USA
The USA continues to lose ground, in retaining the relative science and engineering strength it has retained for the last 50 plus years. As I have said before this trend is nearly inevitable – the challenge for the USA is to reduce the speed of their decline in relative position.
A new open access report, Losing the World’s Best and Brightest, explores the minds of current foreign science and engineering students that are studying in the USA. This is another in the list of reports on similar topics by Vivek Wadhwa and Richard Freeman. And again they point out the long term economic losses the USA is setting up by failing to retain the talent trained at our universities. It is a problem for the USA and a great benefit for countries like India and China.
“Foreign students receive nearly 60% of all engineering doctorates and more than half of all mathematics, computer sciences, physics and economics doctorates awarded in the United States. These foreign nationals end up making jobs, not taking jobs,” said Wadhwa. “They bring insights into growing global markets and fresh ideas. Research has shown that they even end up boosting innovation by U.S. inventors. Losing them is an economic tragedy.”
According to the study’s findings, very few foreign students would like to stay in the United States permanently—only 6% of Indian, 10 percent of Chinese and 15% of Europeans. And fewer foreign students than the historical norm expressed interest in staying in the United States after they graduate. Only 58% of Indian, 54% of Chinese and 40% of European students wish to stay for several years after graduation. Previous National Science Foundation research has shown 68% of foreigners who received science and engineering doctorates stayed for extended periods of time, including 73% of those who studied computer science. The five-year minimum stay rate was 92% for Chinese students and 85% for Indian students.
The vast majority of foreign student and 85% of Indians and Chinese and 72% of Europeans are concerned about obtaining work visas. 74% of Indians, 76% of Chinese, and 58% of Europeans are also worried about obtaining jobs in their fields. Students appear to be less concerned about getting permanent-resident visas than they are about short-term jobs. Only 38% of Indian students, 55% of Chinese, and 53% of Europeans expressed concerns about obtaining permanent residency in the USA.
On the tonight show yesterday, President Obama said
And if we’re rewarding those kinds of things that actually contribute to making things and making people’s lives better, that’s going to put our economy on solid footing. We won’t have this kind of bubble-and-bust economy that we’ve gotten so caught up in for the last several years.
Eric Schmidt, Google CEO, recently expressed his frustration with the policies discouraging science and engineering graduates staying in the USA after they complete their education.
Related: Invest in Science for a Strong Economy – Science, Engineering and the Future of the American Economy – USA Under-counting Engineering Graduates – Losing scientists and engineers will reduce economic performance of the USA – Diplomacy and Science Research