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From: (Steve Harris
Subject: Re: "Nobel Prizes boost U.S. science"
Date: 8 Oct 2004 13:01:51 -0700
Message-ID: <> (Mike) wrote in message

> Nobel Prizes boost U.S. science
> Americans have captured or shared in all three 2004 Nobel Prizes
> awarded in scientific fields, a result that seems to contradict
> complaints of declines in U.S. scientific research and science
> education.
> at

Comment: The US is a big country with a lot of people, so you have to
factor that in. For example, the US leads in olympic medals, but if
you figure it per millions of population we come out about 8th.

In Nobels, if you figure it at prizes per million people of a country
per decade, I think the US is on top, but we've been declining since
our high, post WW II.  And THAT high was not just due to the change in
Federal science support after WW II, but also due to the influx of
educated Europeans fleeing Nazis (previous to WWII, *Germany* had led
in Nobels).  US science preeminance has ALWAYS been to some extend
dependent on us brain-draining the rest of the world. We have the best
resources, and the best class-mobility, so the world sends us all
their best minds. It combo is unbeatable. What worries me is that we
haven't lately been doing as well with that combo as we SHOULD be. We
SHOULD be TOTALLY kicking ass in science, instead of just barely.
That's bad. It means we're screwing up somewhere.

We still have the money. So my best guess is that we're doing
something to screw up the true meritocracy which underlies the best
science, in the name of political correctness. It's one thing to have
good class mobility. It's another to choose Americans of African or
Latin extraction for academic positions instead of (say) Chinese, in
order to just make the numbers come out. And that is happening.


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