Peter wood,executive director of the National Association of Scholars, has penned an interesting article looking at the decline in science in the USA. This has grown out of Bill Gates testimony before the House Committee on Science and Technology about the abject failure of American schools, colleges, and universities to prepare students for advanced study in the sciences.
I have previously blogged about this issue with respect to Australia although I have to admit the USA is in a much worse predicament than us. When it comes to developing science, the country is truly retarded. And now they are starting to pay the price for this short sightedness. After recently spending a month in the USA I was struck by the pessimistic outlook of nearly everyone I met. In a few words… the USA is no longer great. Part of this is the incompetence in financial management at the federal level leading to record levels of national debt and at the local level the deregulation on the housing loan markets is currently coming home to roost with a distressing level of foreclosures. These are not good signs in any countries books. On top of this we have misadventures in the Middle East and a political system that now seems far from democratic with well funded lobby groups forming the major influence in their political system.
And to top this all off we now have people like Bill Gates having to rap the government over the knuckles and fund the creation of over a 1000 new high schools. Now as much as Windows sucks we do have to tip our hats to Bill for his philanthropy.
Although the attack on science has not been as severe in Australia as in the USA the same symptoms are starting to show. Immigration are actively seeking skilled people in the sciences, engineering and IT industry. We too are sliding down the slippery slope the USA is rapidly approaching the bottom of. Whilst at the same time our neighboring countries are seeing the benefit of such careers and are doing their utmost to bring their countries to the highest standard of education they can.
The irony is that the quotation “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”, clearly applies now as we can see what is happening in the USA but we are apparently making the same errors in our education system. Unfortunately we don’t appear to have our own Bill Gates to help out…