Since entering the White House, Donald Trump has been threatening to hack back federal expenditure in line with his campaign promises. Nowhere will these cuts weigh more heavily than for Science and Technology (S&T), where U.S. dominance is already under sustained pressure from major investments by China in everything from artificial intelligence to precision medicine.
China has risen rapidly to become the world's second-largest performer and today accounts for 20% of global R&D expenditure, according to the U.S. National Science Board, while the U.S. still leads the market with a 27% share, this figure is down from almost 33% a few years ago.
Trump's failure to appoint a Presidential Science Advisor is just the latest indication that he lacks a detailed understanding of the strategic importance of S&T — or the determination to give it sufficient priority.
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