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The Real Science Gap


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For many decades, and especially since the United States attained undisputed pre-eminence in science during World War II, a parade of cutting-edge technologies has accounted for much of America's economic growth. Countless good jobs now ride on whether the Next Big Thing—and the several things after that—will be developed in America or in another of the powers now producing large numbers of scientists and engineers.

Troubling indicators suggest that careers in science, engineering and technology hold less attraction for the most talented young Americans. With competitors rapidly increasing their own supplies of technically trained personnel and major American companies outsourcing some of their research work to lower-wage countries, an emerging threat to U.S. dominance becomes increasingly clear.

Congress and successive administrations have responded with steps they have been told will solve the problem. But experts argue that the solutions that will attract the nation's brightest young people back to science are not even on the table. These experts say that the forces driving bright young Americans away from technical careers arise in the very structure of the U.S. research establishment.

From Miller-McCune Online
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