NATIONAL ACADEMIES REPORT:
ENERGIZING AND EMPLOYING AMERICA FOR A BRIGHTER ECONOMIC FUTURE
The National Academies has laid out a comprehensive strategy of specific recommendations for federal policy-makers to create high-quality jobs and focus new scientific and technical efforts on meeting the nation’s needs in the 21st century. The committee’s report, “Rising Above The Gathering Storm: Energizing And Employing America For A Brighter Economic Future,” points out that in a world where advanced knowledge is widespread and low-cost labor is readily available, U.S. advantages in the marketplace and in science and technology have begun to erode. It suggests that a comprehensive and coordinated federal effort is urgently needed to bolster U.S. competitiveness and pre-eminence in these areas so that the nation will consistently gain from the opportunities offered by rapid globalization. The congressionally requested report makes four recommendations along with 20 implementation actions that federal policy-makers should take to create high-quality jobs and focus new science and technology (S&T) efforts on meeting the nation’s need for clean, affordable, and reliable energy. Some actions would involve changing existing laws, while others would require financial support that would come from reallocating existing budgets or increasing them. Briefly, the four main recommendations are:
- Increase America’s talent pool by vastly improving K-12 mathematics and science education. Among recommended implementation steps is the creation of a merit-based scholarship program to attract 10,000 exceptional students to math and science teaching careers each year.
- Sustain and strengthen the nation’s commitment to long-term basic research. Among the recommendations: increase the national investment in basic research by 10 percent each year over the next seven years.
- Develop, recruit, and retain top students, scientists, and engineers from both the United States and abroad. Recommendations include the development of 25,000 new, competitive four-year undergraduate scholarships and 5,000 new graduate fellowships to U.S. citizens enrolled in physical science, life science, engineering, and mathematics programs at U.S. colleges and universities; and automatic one year visa extensions for international students to remain in the United States to seek employment.
- Ensure that the United States is the premier place in the world for innovation. Recommendations include: modernizing the U.S. patent system, realigning tax policies to encourage innovation, and ensuring affordable broadband Internet access.
The study was sponsored by the National Academies, which comprise the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council. They are private, nonprofit institutions that provide science, technology, and health policy advice under a congressional charter. Click here to view the full report. (Summary used with permission from Triangle Coalition Electronic Bulletin, Oct. 13, 2205)