Proof that Scientific Research in the US is Going to be Dominated by Foreigners

I was perusing the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research this evening and I happened to look over the current roster. I’ll just link to it, rather than post it since it has individual’s names and phone numbers, but check this out.

Look at the number of graduate students and post-docs.  Of course, from the names, it’s impossible to be certain, but to my reckoning, I’d estimate that only about 20% of the researchers on staff there are Americans.  This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this sort of thing – I’ve read estimates that something like 60-70% of engineering and science graduate students are from foreign countries.  Similar statistics hold for mathematics and economics.  If anyone wants to check my sources, this week’s issue of The Economist has several articles pertaining to education in the West and developing countries and how it relates to income inequality.

From all I’ve read, this is in no danger of changing either – American students are falling further and further behind the rest of the world in mathematics, science, reading, and just about everything else.  The nationwide estimate for per-pupil spending, once you undo all the accounting shenanigans, is around $15,000 a year.  That’s per-child.  That’s about $195,000 for a K-12 education.  And for that, we get this, this, and this.

And I can only wonder what American graduates are going to be able to do when this is their collegiate performance.

 

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