Stoking that fire is, more than ever, a proper federal function, so the legislators should be given some reading matter. One is William Rosen’s book “The Most Powerful Idea in the World,” a study of the culture of invention. Another is the National Academy of Sciences report “Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited,” an addendum to a 2005 report on declining support for science and engineering research.
Today, the prerequisites for economic dynamism are ideas. Deborah Wince-Smith of the Council on Competitiveness says: “Talent will be the oil of the 21st century.” And the talent that matters most is the cream of the elite. The late Nobel laureate Julius Axelrod said, “Ninety-nine percent of the discoveries are made by 1 percent of the scientists.”
Alot of scientists had disabilities too: Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Alva Edison, Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, Dr. Temple Grandin, Stephen Hawking, and Isaac Newton, to name but a few.
U.S. undergraduate institutions award 16 percent of their degrees in the natural sciences or engineering; South Korea and China award 38 percent and 47 percent, respectively. America ranks 27th among developed nations in the proportion of students receiving undergraduate degrees in science or engineering.
A National disgrace in my opinion!
America has been consuming its seed corn: From 1970 to 1995, federal support for research in the physical sciences, as a fraction of GDP, declined 54 percent; in engineering, 51 percent. On a per-student basis, state support of public universities has declined for more than two decades and was at the lowest level in a quarter-century before the current economic unpleasantness. Annual federal spending on mathematics, the physical sciences and engineering now equals only the increase in health care costs every nine weeks.
Richard Levin, economist and Yale’s president, asks: Would Japan’s growth have lagged since 1990 “if Microsoft, Netscape, Apple and Google had been Japanese companies?” Japan’s failure has been a failure to innovate. As “Gathering Storm” says: Making the government lean by cutting the most defensible — because most productive — federal spending is akin to making an overweight aircraft flight-worthy by removing an engine.
FYI-China has been expanding the most rapidy and hence, spends the most on innovation! Big surprise? I think not. Stuyvestant High School and Bronx Science have the highest Asian Population to date as well as all of the most elite technical and scientific colleges. Most American children are just plain LAZY! I should know. That attitude extends into the workplace. I have had the displeasure of working with many a LAZY employee in my time! Get to it already–you are more than just “a little” behind in math and don’t want to be a big ass in science! Get it?