Say what you will about Bill Gates, but the Microsoft chairman is undoubtedly a valuable spokesman for science and technology education in this country. Speaking before the House of Representatives' Committee on Science and Technology yesterday, Gates reiterated comments he made last year; telling lawmakers that the U.S. needs to revamp its education program, and make it easier for qualified foreigners to work here. Otherwise, he warned, U.S. companies will not have the science and engineering talent they need to compete on the global scale.
"I know we wall want the U.S. to continue to be the world's center for innovation. But our position is at risk. There are many reasons for this but two stand out. First, U.S. companies face a severe shortfall of scientists and engineers with expertise to develop the next generation of breakthroughs. Second, we don't invest enough as a nation in the basic research needed to drive long-term innovation.
If we don't reverse these trends, our competitive advantage will erode. Our ability to create new high-paying jobs will suffer."
The basic tenets of his proposed remedy: strengthen education; fix immigration; invest in basic research. Sounds about right. Read the full text of his remarks here.
I totally agree with Bill Gates and what he has to say about keeping the United States innovative. Alot of scientists are set to retire over the next several years and that could seriously affect innvoative programs like NASA and DARPA. Yeah, wages might go up for people like myself (biotech) but you have to think about things in the long run.
He is right. Especially about the qualified foreigners part. It's what brought the US to where it is now, and improving it will only make the future brighter.
People learn in different ways, educational funding must be spent accordingly to a multiple set of characteristics. Not all children want to learn what the goverentment says is important for them to learn at that time in their life. They might have better things to concentrate on then. Its about maturity.
When you have a nation of end product users, the need to make better dries up. Also if the old technologies are in full sway and meeting the need here, you can't expect new technologies to take their place until old stuff goes away. Why dump heavy investment into wind, solar and bio if oil is still making good bucks. Old technologies have a solid infrastructure and is cemented into the everyday habits of citizens, we are so uncertain of new technology which requires a transition in both infrastructure and personal habits. Then ideas are locked behind legal walls and people can't pick and poke and fiddle to get the skills to devise new stuff. So what, if we aren't leading in technology if we haven't pushed the technology we have down into society. Outside of college, most of us live as do developing nations. Technology has not lowered the cost of living nor raised our standard of living, we struggle against too many home grown forces. Mr.G lives in a totally different America.
We might be better off if we go abroad for schooling and bring the technology back home, the same as other nations have done with us. Not living here would awaken us to possibilities missed because of our entrenched culture and mindsets. What's wrong in America is that money and ideas stopped flowing.