How America Lost Its Scientific Edge and How to Get It Back

Chance Layton

Writing for Minding the Campus, NAS member Edward Dougherty covers the ‘brain drain’ of American STEM students. He notes that the majority of STEM students, particularly those in doctoral studies, are foreign-born. This, he explains is the result of heavy recruiting of foreign students, while American students opt-out. How do we revitalize the study of STEM among American students? Professor Dougherty suggests:

“Today, education must be completely revamped from the bottom up. An iron hand is needed to clean out the education establishment and replace it with people with the knowledge and ability to institute no-nonsense policies. [. . .] I would add that students scoring in the 98th percentile on a national mathematics exam prepared by real mathematicians, physicists, and engineers (not people with education degrees) should be guaranteed a college scholarship, including full tuition and living expenses – assuming that they major in mathematics, engineering, or hard science. Surely the national interest is served as well by excellent science and engineering students as by football players.”

Surely enough, one would think. Professor Dougherty doesn’t forget the social sciences in his solution either, noting:

Part of cleaning up the mess in undergraduate mathematics and science education is cleaning up the mess in philosophy and history.  Restoration of science education would entail a restoration of serious liberal arts education.

This is a worthy endeavor. Perhaps at some point, education policy will attempt to focus on education as a national good rather than another product for consumption.

Read the full article here.  

Edward R. Dougherty is an American mathematician, electrical engineer, Robert M. Kennedy '26 Chair, and Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering at Texas A&M University. He is also the Scientific Director of the Center for Bioinformatics and Genomic Systems Engineering.


  • Share

Most Commented

March 16, 2022

1.

Exclusive: Association of American Medical Colleges to Propose DEI Curriculum Standards

The Association of American Medical Colleges plans to release “diversity, equity, and inclusion competencies” that will force students and faculty to embrace social justice......

May 12, 2022

2.

Mornin’ Ralph, Mornin’ Sam in Anthropology Today

Professor Lowrey recounts her latest encounter with academic cancel culture, this time with an acceptance-turned-rejection at Anthropology Today....

November 24, 2021

3.

1619 Again: Revisiting the Project's Troubled Past

New York Times editor Jake Silverstein's new essay on the 1619 Project attempts to glide past the awkwardness that accompanied the project’s early days. Let's set the reco......

Most Read

May 12, 2022

1.

Mornin’ Ralph, Mornin’ Sam in Anthropology Today

Professor Lowrey recounts her latest encounter with academic cancel culture, this time with an acceptance-turned-rejection at Anthropology Today....

April 5, 2022

2.

How Many Confucius Institutes Are in the United States?

UPDATED: We're keeping track of all Confucius Institutes in the United States, including those that remain open, those that closed, and those that have announced their closing....

May 15, 2015

3.

Where Did We Get the Idea That Only White People Can Be Racist?

A look at the double standard that has arisen regarding racism, illustrated recently by the reaction to a black professor's biased comments on Twitter....