So says a report from the RAND corporation:
“The wolves have not encircled us yet,” the Denver Post opined in an article in 2006 entitled “Signs America’s Scientific Edge is Slipping”, “but there’s no denying the sounds of scratching at the door.”
This was a pithy summary of a mountain of reports from congressional committees, scientific panels and business groups. But a new report from the RAND Corporation’s National Defence Research Institute, “US Competitiveness in Science and Technology”, suggests that the panic is overblown.
The report demonstrates that America is still the world’s science and technology powerhouse. It accounts for 40% of total world spending on research and development, and produces 63% of the most frequently cited publications. It is home to 30 of the world’s leading 40 universities, and employs 70% of the world’s living Nobel laureates. America produces 38% of patented new technologies in the OECD and employs 37% of the OECD’s researchers.
There is little evidence that America is resting on its laurels, according to RAND.
It’s nice to hear such an encouraging report, but I think there’s still plenty of reason for worry, particularly when it comes to science, as opposed to technology.