Go East, Young Scientist!

An intriguing piece from Matthew Stremlau in today’s Washington Post argues that following funding cuts in the US and Europe, any ambitious young scientist would be better off in China, Singapore, Brazil or Saudi Arabia! It’s a good piece as nothing enrages US politicians more than the rise of China.

But as a huge chunk of economic growth comes from the application of science are western nations are hastening their own decline?

What does it mean for the United States if we lose some of our scientific talent? The infusion of American ingenuity could be the missing catalyst for a country such as China to leapfrog America in space technology or the development of new weapons.

I’m not convinced that the effect is as dramatic as many would claim. The UK for example has world class scientific research, much of which ends up being commercialised abroad and providing little economic benefit, and in today’s world of twitter and electronic journals there is little to stop entrepreneurs commercialising science done anywhere in the world.

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