The U.S. lags in re­search

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE - Nay­yar Ahmed, Pitts­burgh, Pa.

“The cre­ation of physics is the shared her­itage of all mankind. East and West, North and South have equally par­tic­i­pated in it...”

These re­sound­ing words were spo­ken at a No­bel Prize Banquet by an un­sung hero of Pak­istan, Ab­dus Salam, re­cip­i­ent of a No­bel Prize in Physics in 1979. A fairly young na­tion at that time, Pak­istan pro­duced one of the finest physi­cists of the 20th cen­tury.

Mov­ing into the 21st cen­tury, many Asian coun­tries have pro­gressed in sciences and have emerged as global lead­ers in re­search. In­evitably, this has tipped the bal­ance of the No­bel Prize it­self, with a global shift from West to the East.

The United States for many decades has dom­i­nated the sciences but is now show­ing signs of di­min­ished re­search per­for­mance. Over­shad­owed with po­lit­i­cal wars and do­mes­tic prob­lems, the govern­ment and me­dia out­lets are in­un­dated with mean­ing­less rhetoric and nar­ra­tives that ob­scure the real is­sues at hand.

Hence it is im­per­a­tive that our na­tion, with all its po­ten­tial, shift its fo­cus on re­search so we can win back the sciences and stim­u­late in­dus­trial in­no­va­tion, en­sur­ing a sus­tain­able fu­ture for job growth.

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