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Thread: US Will No Longer Dominate Science and Research

  1. #1

    Red face US Will No Longer Dominate Science and Research

    U.S. will no longer dominate science and research

    February 22, 2011Pennsylvania State University

    Washington D.C. -- A shift in the global research landscape will reposition the United States as a major partner, but not the dominant leader, in science and technology research in the coming decade, according to a Penn State researcher. However, the U.S. could benefit from this research shift if it adopts a policy of knowledge sharing with the growing global community of researchers.

    "What is emerging is a global science system in which the U.S. will be one player among many," said Caroline Wagner, associate professor of international affairs, who presented her findings today (Feb. 18) at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C.

    The entrance of more nations into global science has changed the research landscape. From 1996 to 2008, the share of papers published by U.S. researchers dropped 20 percent. Wagner attributes much of this output shift not to a drop in U.S. research efforts, but to the exponentially increasing research conducted in developing countries, such as China and India.

    China has already surpassed the U.S. in the output of research papers in the fields of natural science and engineering. Based on current trends, China will publish more papers in all fields by 2015. Although China still lags in quality, according to Wagner, that gap is closing, too.

    As enrollments in Chinese universities swell, there will also be more researchers in China than there are in the U.S., she noted.

    Typical recommendations to spur U.S. research, such as spending more money on research, may not restore American preeminence in science and technology.

    "Some consider America’s loss in the 'numbers game' in research to be a scary scenario, but the answer may not be in spending more money," said Wagner. "The system may be operating at full capacity—and the law of diminishing returns exists in science, just as it does in other sectors."

    Instead of this low return-on-investment strategy, Wagner recommended that the U.S. rely on a more efficient knowledge-sharing strategy by tapping experts from other countries who have developed more knowledge and better skills than U.S. researchers in certain fields. Other nations would, in turn, have access to U.S. scientists to conduct research in fields where they are most proficient.

    Wagner refers to the possibility of a global research community as the new "invisible college," a term coined in the 17th century to describe the connections among researchers from diverse disciplines and places who created the world's first scientific society.

    One fallacy is that the Internet will naturally create this global research community, said Wagner. Despite the presence of global communication systems, such as the Internet and mobile phone technology, research remains a difficult network to navigate, especially for scientists in developing countries.

    "The Internet helps speed up the rate of communication, but doesn’t necessarily improve access for developing countries," Wagner said. "Since face-to-face contact is still the preferred way to connect with fellow researchers, participants can still be blocked by the cost of travel and access to research papers, for example."





    http://www.sciencenewsline.com/techn...205180000.html

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by GRAMMY View Post
    U.S. will no longer dominate science and research

    February 22, 2011Pennsylvania State University

    Washington D.C. -- A shift in the global research landscape will reposition the United States as a major partner, but not the dominant leader, in science and technology research in the coming decade, according to a Penn State researcher. However, the U.S. could benefit from this research shift if it adopts a policy of knowledge sharing with the growing global community of researchers.

    "What is emerging is a global science system in which the U.S. will be one player among many," said Caroline Wagner, associate professor of international affairs, who presented her findings today (Feb. 18) at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C.

    The entrance of more nations into global science has changed the research landscape. From 1996 to 2008, the share of papers published by U.S. researchers dropped 20 percent. Wagner attributes much of this output shift not to a drop in U.S. research efforts, but to the exponentially increasing research conducted in developing countries, such as China and India.

    China has already surpassed the U.S. in the output of research papers in the fields of natural science and engineering. Based on current trends, China will publish more papers in all fields by 2015. Although China still lags in quality, according to Wagner, that gap is closing, too.

    As enrollments in Chinese universities swell, there will also be more researchers in China than there are in the U.S., she noted.

    Typical recommendations to spur U.S. research, such as spending more money on research, may not restore American preeminence in science and technology.

    "Some consider America’s loss in the 'numbers game' in research to be a scary scenario, but the answer may not be in spending more money," said Wagner. "The system may be operating at full capacity—and the law of diminishing returns exists in science, just as it does in other sectors."

    Instead of this low return-on-investment strategy, Wagner recommended that the U.S. rely on a more efficient knowledge-sharing strategy by tapping experts from other countries who have developed more knowledge and better skills than U.S. researchers in certain fields. Other nations would, in turn, have access to U.S. scientists to conduct research in fields where they are most proficient.

    Wagner refers to the possibility of a global research community as the new "invisible college," a term coined in the 17th century to describe the connections among researchers from diverse disciplines and places who created the world's first scientific society.

    One fallacy is that the Internet will naturally create this global research community, said Wagner. Despite the presence of global communication systems, such as the Internet and mobile phone technology, research remains a difficult network to navigate, especially for scientists in developing countries.

    "The Internet helps speed up the rate of communication, but doesn’t necessarily improve access for developing countries," Wagner said. "Since face-to-face contact is still the preferred way to connect with fellow researchers, participants can still be blocked by the cost of travel and access to research papers, for example."





    http://www.sciencenewsline.com/techn...205180000.html
    as a chinese,i think that news isn't really.

  3. #3
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    We have become the land of creationism, of people who believe the world is only 6000 years old, who disdain belief in climate change, and who think the use of stem cells immoral. If we keep up at this rate we will be seen as some scientific backwater by those who wish to invest in science.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
    We have become the land of creationism, of people who believe the world is only 6000 years old, who disdain belief in climate change, and who think the use of stem cells immoral. If we keep up at this rate we will be seen as some scientific backwater by those who wish to invest in science.
    I agree Eileen. Between politics and lack of funding in critical areas, we need to be looking around at the countries that have already surpassed us and take some important notes on what is going on globally.

    U.S. Pharmacutical Companies are working with other countries setting up clinical trials and therapies due to the problems that have been created here in the U.S. with politicians, NIH funding and FDA regulations and foot dragging. I'm afraid we'll be seeing more medical refugees going to other places around the globe for treatments. The numbers already are astounding! I don't think people realize also how many of our doctors do their training here in the U.S. and then leave to do their research and practice elsewhere. It has been the USA demise.
    Last edited by GRAMMY; 04-18-2011 at 07:48 PM.

  5. #5
    The loss of U.S. leadership in science and engineering can be explained very simply. The United States has not invested in higher education or research to the same degree as China and the other countries. In the past decade, NIH funding has essentially been flatlined, i.e. no significant increase or just "inflationary" increase. Unfortunately, the cost of scientific research has not followed standard inflationary curves. The cost of science is closer to the inflationary cost of medical care. Science is getting more and more expensive because so much of science is based on getting sophisticated reagents and equipment that are made by companies that make drugs and medical equipment. Scientific and medical health care costs inflate at 10-15% rather than 1-3% for day-to-day costs of items, suppressed in part by cheap Chinese goods flooding the market.

    So, a decade of funding science at 0-3% annual increases is similar to cutting about 10% of the value of research being funded per year. The actual value of research being done today in the United States has probably fallen by over 50% while the value of research being done in China and other Asian countries have probably risen by over 500% in the past decade. It is little wonder that China is overtaking us in terms of papers published. They not only have more people doing research but their investment in research is increasing at ten times higher rate. I am aghast by the opinion from Caroline Wagner that the solution is not more funding. How is it possible that she cannot do the economic arithmetic?

    By the way, don't think that this is a Republican or Democratic problem. The Obama administration has been worse than the Bush Administration in terms of science funding. During the Clinton years, the doubling of the NIH began. It ended in the Bush years, after the attack on 9/11/2001. The Bush administration shunted much of the increase of NIH funding to bioterrorism research and flatlined the NIH budget between 2003-2008. Around 2005, NIH discovered to its horror that the average age of first NIH grants for young scientists was over 40 years (for comparison, I received my first NIH grants at age 29).

    Despite all its talk, the Obama administration has continued the policy of decapitating U.S. research. It is hard to trust the numbers coming out these days but I believe that less than 10% of NIH grant applications are being funded these days. This is devastating, particularly for fields like spinal cord injury research. The recession has removed almost all other sources of research funding, including industry and private donations. Now, in the past year, the squeeze on state budgets has resulted in a loss of local government support of higher education. I know many productive laboratories that are closing or have closed because of funding loss. Most scientists have less research funding now than they did a decade ago and the research is more than twice as expensive.

    Obama had several opportunities to take a leadership role in restoring research and education funding. Unfortunately, he did not take that role at all. Over the last 3 years, Obama spent nearly $2 trillion on stimulus packages that gave a paltry amount to research and higher education. For example, in the first stimulus package of about $870 billion, they excluded all clinical trials and spent less than $10 billion on biomedical research and almost nothing on higher education, particularly the great research universities that are the life blood of science in the United States. It is unconscionable. If this trend continues, Bush and Obama will be jointly known as the presidents who killed science in the United States.

    As Eileen pointed out, the public is blithely unaware and have become progressively anti-science. Extremists are taking advantage of this situation, playing their little games foisting their ignorance and religion on science. It is truly sad. How much wasted collective breath have we expended on the stupid issue of embryonic stem cells? Even on this site where presumably people are more interested in and understand the value of research, we cannot get even a semblance of support for government funding of research. Most of the time, people are attacking rather than supporting scientists.

    Wise.
    Last edited by Wise Young; 04-18-2011 at 06:24 PM.

  6. #6
    Australian Stem Cell Researchers to link up with US institute
    • Leigh Dayton, Science writer
    • From: The Australian
    • April 16, 2011 12:00AM
    LEADING stem cell researchers from Australia and the US met this week in Melbourne to kick-start collaborative projects.

    They identified areas of complementary expertise that could drive such projects and agreed to establish new fellowships enabling Australian post-doctoral scientists to gain experience in California.
    "It was a morale boost for Australian scientists hearing negatives about funding," says Australian medical researcher Alan Trounson, president of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine in San Francisco.
    "If you get the best scientists together you'll get great results," adds Trounson, who initiated the workshop late last year.
    Thus, he says CIRM expects a 400 per cent return on its investment. "For $US3 billion we expect to get back over $US12bn over 25 years."
    The gathering follows a memorandum of understanding signed in January by Warwick Anderson, chief executive of the National Health and Medical Research Council, and Trounson. According to Anderson, the MOU will resemble other international arrangements the NHMRC has in place, such as the agreement with the European Union: "We pick up the research funding of our scientists and they, theirs."
    It will also build on an existing arrangement between CIRM and Victoria, which now funds six collaborative projects. "We normally invest more than the partner, Trounson says.
    He adds: "We're hoping to go forward in June. We'll invite scientists from both countries, preferably in joint applications, to apply." Applications for collaborative projects will be peer-reviewed by CIRM.
    Melbourne stem cell biologist Richard Boyd, director of Monash University's Monash Immunology and Stem Cell Laboratories, says applications will fall into two areas, basic biology and translation.
    "The basic biology program would increase understanding of blood diseases and develop new treatments for them," he says.
    "The translation program is an opportunity to develop new stem cell based therapies for spinal cord injuries."
    That's why industry is interested in collaboration. Participating in the workshop were representatives from Sydney-based Cell Care -- a private venture specialising in the collection, processing and storage of cord blood stem cells for Australian parents -- and Melbourne biotech Mesoblast, developer of off-the-shelf stem cell products for diseases ranging from diabetes to age-related macular degeneration.
    According to workshop participant Douglas Hilton, director of Melbourne's Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, while funding for Australian collaboration with CIRM is uncertain, the proposed fellowships can be up and running quickly. "It doesn't require a lot of government buy-in because I can find funding in the institution," Hilton says.
    Last edited by GRAMMY; 04-18-2011 at 09:38 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member alan's Avatar
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    We have wars to pay for. Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, War on Drugs. And other things more important than higher education and science.
    Alan

    Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

  8. #8
    Counting bodies like sheep to the rythm of the war drum. -Maynard

  9. #9
    It is worse than just funding, which is a financial issue that COULD be addressed. A longer term issue exists in our youth. The public school systems are lagging in the hard sciences. What happend to physics, chemistry, etc. The kids PLAY with computers on face book and interactive games. Children of today don't build or create, they buy working machines/games off the shelf to USE, not understand. TV has taught them goals of professional athletes, actors, dancers, etc. A new Facebook application gets more press than any breakthough in the sciences.

    While not directly medical, the collider project was stopped, NASA is 1/2 their prior budgets and much more.

    Many of our leaders are debating creationism verses evolution while the kids are taught only politically correct sciences so as not to offend.
    Both parties can take plenty of blame along with the parents (and voters.)

    I own a business in the technical (not medical) area. Literally every new product, idea or application comes from offshore.

    While throwing more money at education and research will help, the desires and skills of our youth are still going to lag any real recovery.

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