Is the U.S. Falling Behind in Science & Technology or Not?

September 10, 2008

Over the last several years a number of reports – headlined by Rising Above the Gathering Storm – have raised the alarm over the deteriorating state of U.S. science and technology (S&T) competitiveness and documented how the country is falling behind in key building blocks of the S&T base.

Now bursting onto the scene is a new report from the RAND Corporation, U.S. Competitiveness in Science and Technology, that calls into question what appeared to be settled assessments of slipping U.S. S&T competitiveness. Covered widely in magazines like The Economist (What Crisis? June 12, 2008 issue), RAND’s report has been interpreted by many to suggest that worries about the United States losing its edge in S&T are actually overblown: everything’s just fine.

But RAND’s report contains serious structural and analytic flaws that misread the fundamental position of U.S. science and technology competitiveness. In a new report, RAND’s Rose-Colored Glasses: How RAND’s Report on U.S. Competitiveness in Science and Technology Gets it Wrong, ITIF will offer a detailed critique of the RAND report that shows that in contrast to RAND’s rosy assessment, America’s lead on a number of key S&T indicators is eroding rapidly, where not vanishing entirely.

Please join us on Wednesday, September 10 from 9:00 am – 10:30 am as ITIF releases this report, for a discussion of the RAND report and the actual global competitive position of U.S. S&T with a distinguished panel of experts.