Is the United States Losing Its Edge in Science and Technology?


Over the course of the last century, discoveries in science and technology (S&T) have been fundamental drivers of U.S. economic progress and improvements in our standard of living. A weakening of U.S. S&T capability would have harmful effects for both. Although the United States has been widely recognized as the world leader in S&T since 1920, concern has grown that the United States is losing its competitive edge. The factors driving this concern include globalization, the rise of science centers in developing countries such as China and India, the underperformance of American K–12 students in math and science, and claims of a shortage of S&T workers in the United States. What’s the reality about U.S. competitiveness in science and technology? Do gains by China, India, and other nations pose genuine threats? How are U.S. immigration policies affecting America’s chances to remain a scientific leader?

Featured Speaker

Titus Galama is a management scientist at the RAND Corporation and coauthor (with James Hosek) of U.S. Competitiveness in Science and Technology (2008). His recent work at RAND has included studies of health and retirement behavior, labor markets, technology-based economic development, education, and the science and engineering workforce. At the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Galama was a Fairchild Postdoctoral Prize Fellow. Galama received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Amsterdam.