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Developing Story U.S. Leadership in Science Challenged

Robert Heiny

Research Scientist of Learning and Education
Flight Instructor
Washington, DC, 17 January 2012: The U.S. National Science Board (NS8) calls for a re-examination of assumptions of long held global dominance of the American science and technology enterprise.

That's a conclusion from the NSB report Science and Engineering Indicators 2012 released today. NSB is the policymaking body for the National Science Foundation (NSF), on the overall status of the science, engineering and technology workforce, education efforts, and economic activity in the United States and abroad.

Numerically, China graduated about 1 million scientists and engineers in 2008. For South Korea, Taiwan and Japan, the combined total was 330,000. In contrast, the US graduated 248,000 scientists and engineers during the same year.

In China alone, R&D growth increased a stunning 28 percent in a single year (2008-2009), propelling it past Japan and into second place behind the United States.

The magnitute of the difference between U.S. and Asian countries increases. Many such trends are now established.

As a country, "And we must take seriously new strategies for education, workforce development and innovation in order for the United States to retain its international leadership position," said NSB Director Subra Suresh.

Under policies of the NSB, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) has launched a number of new initiatives designed to better position the United States globally.

Read More.

Related Websites
Related WebsitesA Strategy for American Innovation: http://www.whitehouse.gov/innovation/strategy
NSF FY2012 budget request speech: http://www.nsf.gov/news/speeches/suresh/11/ss110214_nsfbudget.jsp
Science and Engineering Indicators 2012 (available at noon on Jan. 18): http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/indicators/

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2011, its budget is about $6.9 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives over 45,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes over 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards over $400 million in professional and service contracts yearly.