See the San Francisco Chronicle Article

Click this link to read "Flagging economy needs science investments" :

Feel free to post comments in response to this post!

(Thanks, Dan for sending this our way.)

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  1. Phil Tierney Says:

    Warning: 3 months off made me squirmy enough to think in editorials, so here goes...

    Has anyone really stepped up to politicize the "threats" so that serious investment is inevitable? I can't understand why educators and business haven't united to tie investments as Barrett describes to economic, energy and social security. It's difficult to see why acceleration of technology (green, high, bio, nano, etc.) development can't be cast as the vehicle for (pick one: increasing national security, securing US global tech leadership future, etc.) in the face of multiple "threats" to security, economy, environment or, heaven forbid, lifestyle (the cynic in me suspects this is what would really get the public juices flowing)...

    The brand new science labs and focus on math and science brought by the sputnik "threat" of my childhood fueled our current technological success and prosperity. My undergraduate college loans were also funded through a National Defense Education Act which (remarkably in these days of "faith-based" program advocacy) contained statutory prohibitions of federal direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution. The national agenda has been too splintered with objectives intended to massage or punish micro-constituencies.
    Maybe we need to step back and get the big picuture in better focus. Entropy is sapping our total impact through the brownian motion of micromanagement. Barrett's on the right track but we need national leadership to make a compelling political case for and implement appropriate resource allocation that doesn't break the social fabric.

    Do any of the presidential candidates have a platform plank that attempts to weave this together? I'm hearing some gratuitous attempts to tie green development (mostly as job programs) as a vehicle for reviving the economy but educational and investment components are getting short shrift. And the effect is to marginalize the related infrastructural (research, science, education, industry, etc.) investment requirements. Are we capable of thinking big enough to solve Barrett's and our dilemma?