The United States has been the engine of the world economy since the end of the Second World War. And for virtually all of that period, innovation and discovery have been the principal drivers. But for the last two decades, American investment in science research and education has been waning, and today, our nation faces a growing challenge for global supremacy from rapidly growing economies in Asia and other parts of the world. As Thomas Friedman has noted in his best selling book, The World Is Flat, globalization is here to stay. Whether America chooses to compete on the new playing field is a matter for policy makers and politicians to decide, and many of the choices they make have to do with putting science back on the national agenda. We will look at some of the critical benchmarks of competitiveness and follow the recent journey in Washington that led to the President's embrace of the "American Competitiveness Initiative." We will also examine the political landscape, the public attitudes that contribute to political decision-making and the reactions of the scientific community that will largely determine whether the initiative will succeed.
ANL Physics Division Colloquium Schedule