Santa Monica (CA) - Some people think the USA is going down the tubes in respects to science and technology, but that simply isn’t true according to a new study by the non-profit RAND Corporation. The country outspends the world in research and development and employs most of the world’s Nobel Prize winners. Furthermore, three-fourths of the world’s Top 40 Universities are in the United States.
"Much of the concern about the United States losing its edge as the world’s leader in science and technology appears to be unfounded," said Titus Galama, co-author of the report and a management scientist at RAND.
Research and development spending in the US is actually growing faster than Europe and Japan according to the study and while China is investing heavily in R&D, it does not account for a large share of what the RAND calls ’innovation and scientific output’. Perhaps the RAND is trying to play nice by not saying, "they spend lots of money copying other country’s stuff".
To maintain this scientific edge, the study recommends that highly skilled foreign scientists and workers be allowed to visit and stay in the United States. In addition, foreigners who have graduated with scientific degrees from US universities should be allowed to stay in the country indefinitely.
One area of constant controversy amongst IT workers is the H1-B visa which allows highly skilled foreign workers to come to the United States. US workers argue that these workers are often paid much less for the same type of worker - this effectively puts US workers out of a job. But the RAND argues that the recent reduction in the H1-B visa numbers leads to outsourcing of technology to foreign countries.
"Rather than protecting jobs, this could lead to reduced investment and employment at home," says the RAND.