Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Brain drain
Chris Mooney has a post on the consequences of various Bush administration (bad) policies and their openly anti-science attitudes. Namely, we are no longer competitive in the recruitment of scientists and high tech specialists. We are, in fact, driving some of our own scientists away. As causes he cites specific policies and attitudes of the administration that make the country less welcoming to foreigners and less business-friendly for intellectual industries while also lowering the prestige of American science abroad. There has been a dramatic reduction in the number of visas available for immigrants to work in science and technology. The government has shifted its attention from encouraging high-tech industries to subsidizing agriculture and resource extraction industries. Government policies on research are more directed toward getting politically desirable answers than in getting accurate information. And so the brightest stars are staying home or going to more science friendly industrial countries. But why do we need bio-tech, computing, and materials science when we have logging and mining to sustain our economy?

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