Don’t Keep Out the Talent
Bill Gates explains to Congress how America can retain its competitive edge in the sciences
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.