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Haven’t We Heard This Before?

A report from the National Academy of Sciences says that, unless the US makes some major changes in our support for science and technology, we are facing a pretty dismal economic future.

With many low-wage jobs and even some high-skill ones moving offshore, the country will depend increasingly on its lead in science and technology to create new industries offering higher-wage jobs, the panel said. Yet U.S. science and mathematics education is lagging, and American students aren’t being readied for "the gathering storm" of foreign competition, the panel said.

Perhaps the most dramatic would be to double the federal government’s investment in basic scientific research. Congress has already done that for biomedical research and has gone on record as favoring a similar move for research in the physical sciences, but funds haven’t been appropriated.

The panel also called for a renewed emphasis on science and mathematics in the nation’s public schools.

There is NOTHING new here!

Committees and panels and studies going back to before 1983’s A Nation At Risk have been calling for better math and science education. Dozens of books and articles and reports going back decades detail the steep decline in government support for basic research.

Thomas Friedman’s book The World is Flat, clearly explaining the shift of jobs and technology to other parts of the world, has been on the best seller lists for more than a year.

Instead of action, however, we get a president who wants to shove pseudo science and mysticism into the classroom and a variety of national "leaders" who cherry pick scientific research to support their political views of the world.

We get a society that is afraid of the future.

academy of sciences, science education

1 Comment

  1. superdestroyer

    If you want to know about the decline of science education look at the children of the last few presidential candidates: Full of law school, film school, and public policy degrees but not real science degrees. Remember, Chelsea Clinton did not last a year as a biochemistry major.

    Then again, why would anyone start in the life scineces with such low pay, long hours, and educational demands.

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