U.S. Slipping on Science

Posted on March 27, 2006  Comments (10)

U.S. Slipping on Science by John Aloysius Farrell, Denver Post:

As recently as 1970, Freeman discovered, more than half the world’s science and engineering doctorates were granted by U.S. universities. And China produced almost no scientific Ph.D.s.
But by 2001, the European Union was graduating more scientists and engineers than the U.S. — and Asia about as many.

There has been a Science gap between the United States and the rest of the world. That gap has been between the USA, in the lead, and the rest. That gap has been shrinking for at least 10 years and most likely closer to 20. The rate of the decline in that gap has been increasing and that seems likely to continue.

The question now, is to what extent the US relinquishes that past scientific leadership. The answer will have large economic consequences. And that answer is defined by action not wishes. If the US wants to remain in the mix with others looking to lead scientific advances in the next 50 years then policies will have to change and resources will have to be re-directed (money will have to be spent).

The recent Duke University study, USA Under-counting Engineering Graduates, has important details on the comparison between India, China and the USA on science and engineering education.

We have discussed these ideas many times in previous posts:

And many more – see posts on science and the economy, science and technology higher education and engineering.

10 Responses to “U.S. Slipping on Science”

  1. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » USA Innovation Lead Challenged
    May 2nd, 2006 @ 5:43 pm

    “The exodus of much software development has proven to be a lightning rod in the U.S. debate over outsourcing. But an expert at the symposium said the U.S. remains the clear innovation leader in terms of patents…”

  2. CuriousCat: America’s Technology Advantage Slipping
    May 3rd, 2006 @ 6:26 pm

    Again results of two years of this programming challenge are hardly a significant indication. Still if there was any field that Americans felt they still felt they were dominant in it would likely be programing..

  3. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Blog Archive » Scientific Illiteracy
    June 17th, 2006 @ 7:49 am

    […] A comparison of science education achievement: International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (TIMSS), Average science scale scores of eighth-grade students, by country (2003), top 13 shown below: […]

  4. Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog » Blog Archive » Innovation Needed to Keep USA Manufacturing?
    June 29th, 2006 @ 2:28 pm

    […] Innovation has been an advatage for the USA. It should continue to be an advantage for the USA but many other countries will innovate very well (Japan, Germany, China, Korea, Singapore, England…). The USA has many assets: transportation infrastructure, banking, rule of law, educated and skilled workforce, huge market, decent tax laws, engineering education… The key will be to keep focusing on the whole system (and fix things like huge budget deficient, huge current account deficit, excessive health care costs, excessive executive pay…). […]

  5. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » The World’s Best Research Universities
    August 19th, 2006 @ 9:32 am

    […] I find this information interesting (even with the limitations). I would predict (as would most, I would imagine) that China and India will have much greater representation 10-20 years from now (those gains will have to come at the expense of others and I would imagine Europe and the USA will show relative declines). […]

  6. Increasing American Scientists and Engineering Fellowship Support
    December 6th, 2006 @ 7:34 pm

    […] A great research paper is available today from the Brookings Institution: Investing in the Best and Brightest: Increased Fellowship Support for American Scientists and Engineers by Richard B. Freeman. For those interesting in science and engineering education and/or economic policy I recommend it. […]

  7. CuriousCat: Engineers - Future Prospects
    June 27th, 2007 @ 11:49 am

    It is important to remember that the benefits of studying engineering cannot be measured solely by looking at engineers in the workplace – many go into different job title and are promoted into management…..

  8. CuriousCat: Best Research University Rankings - 2007
    August 13th, 2007 @ 9:40 am

    I repeat my prediction from last year (as would most, I would imagine) that China and India will have much greater representation 10-20 years from now (those gains will have to come at the expense of others and I would imagine Europe and the USA will show relative declines)…

  9. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Basic Science Research Funding
    November 10th, 2007 @ 12:32 pm

    “China has become the fifth leading nation in terms of its share of the world’s scientific publications. The citation rate of papers with a Chinese address for the corresponding author also exhibits exponential growth…”

  10. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Economic Strength Through Technology Leadership
    February 23rd, 2008 @ 8:50 pm

    While I still think the USA leads the question is debatable in various fields and as I have said before the future looks to be moving in the other direction…

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