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