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vdogg

U.S. loses technology lead

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Link No surprises here. The Bush admin hasn't exactly been pro-science the past few years. :rolleyes:

The US has lost its position as the world's primary engine of technology innovation, according to a report by the World Economic Forum. The US is now ranked seventh in the body's league table measuring the impact of technology on the development of nations.

A deterioration of the political and regulatory environment in the US prompted the fall, the report said.

The top spot went for the first time to Denmark, followed by Sweden.

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Not surprised we weren't number#1, I would of thought a country like Japan would of been number#1 not Denmark and then Sweden at #2. Interesting.

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I guess that means that soon the US will soon lose its title of being the world's most powerful nation. In my humble opinion this whole "America is number 1" is nothing more than pure government propaganda nonsense. If the United States was actually number 1 with all of the riches of the world in its coffers and technology to launch men to the moon is a mighty superpower, why cant' this country build an automobile that can beat the imports? Why are kids in other countries smarter and more educated than American kids. What about accessible health care to EVERYBODY? If a country like Canada can do it, surly America in its awesome might can do the same for We the People. But its not. If America is as overwhelmingly powerful as our government would like us to believe, why did a bunch of rag tag nobodies from some far away desert muster enough intestinal fortitude to slam airplanes into the WTC and the Pentagon. Why is the US losing the resultant war on terror? These are but a few questions I have to ask. Now I will add the loss of the technology lead to that list of questions. Is America really number 1 or has ever been. Until I'm proven beyond a shadow of otherwise, I say the answer is no. America in all of its patriotic glory is nor has ever been any better than any other nation of the world.

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That a country of 300 million is near the top of any of these lists is a testament to how impressive the country is; even with its supposed problems.

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I did notice we were number one in the previous list. I have a feeling the top ten are all fairly close.

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With the high school dropout rate at terrible levels for the industrial world (and unfortunately rising), the number of functionally illiterate adults in this country, and the number of educated people who have replaced good science with religious dogma it's no wonder we are falling behind.

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I guess that means that soon the US will soon lose its title of being the world's most powerful nation. In my humble opinion this whole "America is number 1" is nothing more than pure government propaganda nonsense. If the United States was actually number 1 with all of the riches of the world in its coffers and technology to launch men to the moon is a mighty superpower, why cant' this country build an automobile that can beat the imports? Why are kids in other countries smarter and more educated than American kids. What about accessible health care to EVERYBODY? If a country like Canada can do it, surly America in its awesome might can do the same for We the People. But its not. If America is as overwhelmingly powerful as our government would like us to believe, why did a bunch of rag tag nobodies from some far away desert muster enough intestinal fortitude to slam airplanes into the WTC and the Pentagon. Why is the US losing the resultant war on terror? These are but a few questions I have to ask. Now I will add the loss of the technology lead to that list of questions. Is America really number 1 or has ever been. Until I'm proven beyond a shadow of otherwise, I say the answer is no. America in all of its patriotic glory is nor has ever been any better than any other nation of the world.

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That a country of 300 million is near the top of any of these lists is a testament to how impressive the country is; even with its supposed problems.

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Pretty scary for the "Republic of Technology" (per Daniel Boorstin) to fall behind in this kind of ranking. This country badly needs leadership that values the importance of science and technology to our economy.

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I'm actually surprised this didn't happen sooner. Other countries are already using things that we probably won't see for at least 5 years, and it's been that way for a decade or so probably. Plus we've been outsourcing for so long that a lot of our knowledge is learned through osmosis elsewhere.

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When I was in grad school, I was the only American in the mechanical engineering program full time. Everyone else was Indian, Pakistani, or Chinese. I suspect that's the trend in most engineering schools, if not most science programs. Americans are going less and less, percentagewise, into technical fields. Yet another reason we're falling behind.

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When I was in grad school, I was the only American in the mechanical engineering program full time. Everyone else was Indian, Pakistani, or Chinese. I suspect that's the trend in most engineering schools, if not most science programs. Americans are going less and less, percentagewise, into technical fields. Yet another reason we're falling behind.

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When I was in grad school, I was the only American in the mechanical engineering program full time. Everyone else was Indian, Pakistani, or Chinese. I suspect that's the trend in most engineering schools, if not most science programs. Americans are going less and less, percentagewise, into technical fields. Yet another reason we're falling behind.

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We don't have to be tops on anything anymore. We've already left our mark on the world. Now let's just sit back and become the world's hypocritical moral authority!

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When I was in grad school, I was the only American in the mechanical engineering program full time. Everyone else was Indian, Pakistani, or Chinese. I suspect that's the trend in most engineering schools, if not most science programs. Americans are going less and less, percentagewise, into technical fields. Yet another reason we're falling behind.

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I also went to grad school for mechanical engineering. The vast majority of students were Chinese or Indian, however there were a number of American students as well. American grad students in engineering are in very high demand. Professors basically begged the good American undergrads to seriously consider grad school and it was still difficult to get them to continue their education. So much engineering research is defense related that it is a big bonus to have American students. Plus, most fellowships require American citizenship. There are so many RA, TA and fellowships available, there is no reason for an American with the smarts to go to grad school should ever pay a dime out of pocket. And STILL you can't get them to go into engineering! Frustrating.

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When I was in grad school, I was the only American in the mechanical engineering program full time. Everyone else was Indian, Pakistani, or Chinese. I suspect that's the trend in most engineering schools, if not most science programs. Americans are going less and less, percentagewise, into technical fields. Yet another reason we're falling behind.

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School standards in math and science aren't rigorous enough to spark an interest in such fields for many Americans. It's much easier to major in something like Liberal Arts or history or something if you're "not that good" at math.

New standards just came into effect in Minnesota that require a student to pass Algebra before being able to pass into 9th grade (previously it was a kind of "at your own pace" system where some students could graduate high school without anything beyond regular algebra). With that requirement and 3 years of math required in high school, all students will have at least trigonometry upon graduation.. (Geometry, higher Algebra, Trig). Also, science standards have been toughened, so all students will be required to take basic physical science (a mix of chemistry and physics), biology, and standard chemistry in order to graduate. Before, you could graduate with only the first two. This will encourage more students to take physics, which would generally spark more interest in engineering programs.

Also, you have to remember that many Americans that do technical fields end up going to 2 year technical colleges where they can go into more applied fields and get done with school earlier and then work their way up later on. We really are no longer a society where students can pay their way through college, so they need to get into the workforce as fast as possible just to keep up.

And the way that financial aid has been declining while tuition has increased two-to-three times the rate of inflation over the past (forever, it seems), it won't be getting any easier for students.

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School standards in math and science aren't rigorous enough to spark an interest in such fields for many Americans. It's much easier to major in something like Liberal Arts or history or something if you're "not that good" at math.

New standards just came into effect in Minnesota that require a student to pass Algebra before being able to pass into 9th grade (previously it was a kind of "at your own pace" system where some students could graduate high school without anything beyond regular algebra). With that requirement and 3 years of math required in high school, all students will have at least trigonometry upon graduation.. (Geometry, higher Algebra, Trig). Also, science standards have been toughened, so all students will be required to take basic physical science (a mix of chemistry and physics), biology, and standard chemistry in order to graduate. Before, you could graduate with only the first two. This will encourage more students to take physics, which would generally spark more interest in engineering programs.

Also, you have to remember that many Americans that do technical fields end up going to 2 year technical colleges where they can go into more applied fields and get done with school earlier and then work their way up later on. We really are no longer a society where students can pay their way through college, so they need to get into the workforce as fast as possible just to keep up.

And the way that financial aid has been declining while tuition has increased two-to-three times the rate of inflation over the past (forever, it seems), it won't be getting any easier for students.

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I agree with everything you say about high school, but what about undergraduate engineering students? The ones that do well in undergrad obviously are good at math and science, yet colleges still have a hard time enticing the to stay for grad school. 2 years more education gives you a starting salary about $15K+ higher than a person with a bachelor's. Additionally, so many more doors open in truly high tech fields with a graduate degree. It is difficult to get out of manufacturing and into R&D without a Master's or many years of experience.

I think co-op or summer internship programs provide valuable insight into post college work. I worked as a co-op manufacturing engineer while in undergrad. I gained a lot of great experience and help pay my way through college. However, I realized I wanted something more high tech. Something where I actually used the coursework that I learned. Without the co-op experience, I probably would have taken a job after undergrad and not gone on to grad school.

Another thing I think colleges need to encourage is undergraduate research jobs. I think this would give a glimpse of what graduate school is like, because they would work in the lab with graduate students. Graduate school is less oriented towards classwork than many students think. Research is a big part of engineering grad school. I only took 8 classes over two years to get my Master's. Yet, I had to do research and write a thesis and defend. I think many times students think grad school is like undergrad, but with much harder classes. I didn't find that to be the case. The classes were more specific and more intense (in some cases), but there were typically only 5-10 students in the class. There was a lot of 1-on-1 teacher interaction. Plus, you get to take the courses you are interested in, not what the university requires.

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