One thought on “Is U.S. Science in Decline?

  1. Christopher Newfield (@cnewf)

    interesting data, but I think two other factors are also worth more attention than they get here. The first is science funding. With cuts in public funding, the student debt explosion limiting tuition increases, federal budget stagnation, and flat industry sponsorships, universities hire post-docs into existing labs because they can’t afford to fund new ones. Doubts about the research funding model–and not just current levels of funding– have fueled declinism. Second, science has (over)sold itself as a direct factor in production and growth, and the US innovation system may no longer have the mechanisms required to turn basic research into sustainable industries and lots of middle class jobs. The perception of decline may help focus attention on whether that was the wrong expectation, short-term, or, instead, whether the innovation system needs a serious overhaul.


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