Tuesday, May 06, 2008

No American science grad shortage

A new Nature mag article addresses the myth that the USA has a shortage of skilled scientists and engineers:
In absolute numbers, the U.S. has more top-scoring kids in math and science than any other country studied–by far. ...

The answer, of course, is that the groups that stand to benefit from a public perception of an S&E shortage–the tech industry (who want an expanded H-1B work visa program for its cheap labor), the immigration lawyers (who want an expanded H-1B for obvious reasons), the education lobby (”Give us more money so we can remedy the shortage”) and so on hire the slickest PR people money can buy. They’ve been at it for years, to the point at which many people in Congress, the press and the public at large simply take it for granted that “Johnnie can’t do math.”
We are producing as many college grads in science and engineering as we can use. We do not need to import cheap labor from elsewhere.

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