The good news or the bad first?

On the matter of whether the US technical community is losing ground to international competitors, Andy Grove, long-time, now retired CEO of Intel, offered his views recently. He introduced himself by saying to his audience, “I’m here to be the skunk at your garden party.” Andy is very concerned about the software and technology industries being able to compete with India and China. He thinks they may surpass the US in jobs by 2010. Other US industries have taken hits like that before and not fully recovered.

On the other hand…

US scientists dominated the Nobel Prize awards last week. Why? Because basic science in the US is well funded, or at least it was in the recent past. Nobel’s tend to look back to work done a decade or two ago. Right now money is not flowing into basic science as much. The other thing is that we have a good peer-review system rather than a rigid hierarchy of authority in science institutions as some cultures have.