New York Times Examines Decline of U.S. Dominance in Scientific Innovation
The New York Times on Monday examined the decline over the past decade of the United States' dominance in scientific innovation, as other nations, especially in Asia and Europe, win more science prizes and produce more papers for scientific journals. The rise of foreign competition is the "inevitable result of rising standards of living around the globe," but most U.S. residents do not realize the trend or the importance of reviving the "engine of the American economy and technical innovation," the Times reports. According to the Times, the decline of U.S. scientific dominance is evident in the U.S. share of industrial patents, which has "fallen steadily over the decades" and is now at 52%, and the "minor exodus" of foreign doctoral students to other nations. Some experts say China "represents the next wave" of foreign innovation, and about 400 companies have recently set up research centers there, including General Electric, which is "doing important work there on medical scanners," the Times reports. Although many scientists and other U.S. residents have not noticed the trend, Democratic politicians have taken hold of the issue and are accusing the Bush administration of not providing enough funding for research. Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) recently said at a policy forum at the American Association for the Advancement of Science that there are "disturbing signs that America's dominant position in the scientific world is being shaken." John Marburger, President Bush's science advisor, said overall research budgets are at record highs, citing this year's $126 billion federal budget for research (Broad, New York Times, 5/3).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.