Dr. Andy

Reflections on medicine and biology among other things

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Outsourcing science

An interesting post from The Daily Transcript suggesting we are making it too hard for scientists to immigrate and as a result an increasing amount of science will be done elsewhere.

While I agree that we need to make it easier for scientists to come here, I see the fact that more choose to return to their home country rather than stay in the US as a good thing in that it indicates the scientific enterprise is expanding.

Science is not a zer0-sum activity, especially from the perspecitve of socities. The invention of the transistor in California benefited the whole world, not just the US. Biotech and engineering research in, say, India, will benefit people all over the world as well.

In the past, research has been dominated by the US, Western Europe and to a lesser extent Australia and Japan. This is changing, but the rise of top notch research elsewhere will only be a good thing.

I do agree that slipping US commitment to research is a bad thing.


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