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Assessing the state of U.S. science and engineering
Overall, is this report good news, bad
news or interesting news?
Overall, I view these data as good.
The United States is still very strong
in research and development, and I
think the data show that. But they also
demonstrate that there are areas we
need to look at and adapt to. The rest of
the world is catching up to us in many
instances — China and some of the Far
East countries, for example.
In what ways are others catching up?
For example, the United States
expends approximately 2. 7 percent of
its gross domestic product every year
on research and development. Japan
has always exceeded that over the last
10 years or more with an investment
of about 3. 4 percent of its GDP. South
Korea has now crossed Japan, and as of
2007, is spending about 3. 5 percent of
its GDP on research and development.
So both of those lead the United States
in terms of their expenditure of GDP.
Since 1996, China has increased its percentage of research and development
expenditures from about 0.6 percent to
currently about 1. 5 percent of GDP, and
it continues to rise rapidly.
In the Asian countries — Malaysia,
Singapore, Thailand — these [big in-creases] occur because there’s a much
larger annual percentage increase in
those countries. The annual percentage
Are these trends here to stay? Is there
a sense that the trends will reverse?
It’s hard to project. But I think some
projection might be possible, or at least
some discussion might be possible.
The trends are a reflection of globalization of research and development