Thursday, October 13, 2005


The National Acadamies of Science released a report yesterday that addressed the future direction of the US and our need to invest in the development of science and mathematic capacity.

The unmatched vitality of the United States' economy and science and technology enterprise has made this country a world leader for decades, allowing Americans to benefit from a high standard of living and national security. But in a world where advanced knowledge is widespread and low-cost labor is readily available, U.S. advantages in the marketplace and in science and technology have begun to erode. A comprehensive and coordinated federal effort is urgently needed to bolster U.S. competitiveness and pre-eminence in these areas so that the nation will consistently gain from the opportunities offered by rapid globalization, says a new report from the National Academies.

What is not clear to me is whether there is any political will in our national government to take a long term view of the country's future. Our investment in science has been declining and is expected to decline even further as more funding is directed toward military and disaster recovery efforts. Our political debates are ever more divisive and encroaching on the critical thinking necessary to foster science. How can we on the one hand support further investment in science and on the other hand call to teach ID as science? I am skeptical as to whether the current social and political environment in the US will allow the needed investment in science and mathematics until there is further degredation in our living standard. Here's hoping I am wrong.