For U.S. Science, A Crisis Looms
The United States is at risk of ceding its leadership in science, a number of physicists said, though there was less of a consensus on a clear solution to the problem. Five physicists shared their worries about America’s scientific future during a panel discussion at the April 2012 meeting of the American Physics Society, agreeing that governmental funding for science research is in crisis, and not enough U.S. students graduate with degrees in science, technology, engineering and math.
Nobel Prize winner Frank Wilczek of MIT argued that society doesn’t adequately value and recognize the economic benefits of basic science while Neal Lane, a physicist at Rice University and a senior fellow in science and technology policy at the university’s Baker Institute for Public Policy stressed the importance of communicating the value of science to the public, saying, Tthe science community can do so much more to engage on the policy side. We are not connecting as well as we should.”