Friday, November 10, 2006

Science and Technology: Can America Compete?

Extra Credit one, cpts 355


a. Who was the speaker, when did he speak, and what was the general topic.

Speaker: Norman Augustine

Date: October 24 2006 4:00pm

Place: Kimbrough Concert Hall, WSU

Topic: Science and Technology: Can America Compete?

b. Here is what he said the problem is

On the talk he said that there are two crucial risks to America and they are terrorism and economic competitiveness. He suggest that the K-12 education, research, higher education and economic policy. Public K-12 education students are particularly weak in math and science compare to other international schools.

A majority of America’s leaders do not have scientific backgrounds because of lacking scientific and technological advancement.

The low representation of women and minorities in science and engineering leads to the shortage of American students interested in scientific fields that further leads to the shortage of researchers.

There are way less graduate students in the United States compare to some other countries.

c. Here is what he said the solution is

Seek ways to attract more students to science and engineering. Do not throw away the talent base of women and minorities.

Lastly he asked academic institutes like Washington State University to speak up to convince the public there is a problem on researches and higher education, and also other problems of the country that he has mentioned in the talk.

 
d. Here is my opinion about what he said, and were his arguments supported

America can be the wrong word to use in the topic. Does the word “America” on the topic title imply the area of Canada and the US, or just the US or the North America with South America? It is very important that this question is not come from a nationalist. One point we should notice is that China don't say it will dominate over all others with its technology or economy, so it should be the same for the US. The world is getting better now.

Nevertheless, there is a real concern about the US education system and its economical structures, but getting phobia is no good. There are multi-national companies around the global and it is just no good for the US iteratively thinking why such and such not happened in the US or he/she/they are not Americans.

Some of his arguments are fully supported. The data he provides is proving that the US is relatively weaker than it used to. Numbers are showing fewer students are aspiring engineering. The budget cuts on education and researches slow down the development of new technologies and the numbers are convincing. However, one thing I hang up on is that we cannot just compare the number of graduate student graduate in the US against other countries, because China and India have bigger populations.

In my opinion, more e-trade, humbly learning and exchanging ideas with other countries may help alleviate side effects of this transition. As the worlds are going to merge, and at some points of transition the US is losing some strong edges is unavoidable. I foresee a lot of things will happen around the global. Years later everyone will do as good as the US and no one is willing to "stab" on the US, and the US is going to live with the rest of the world. The US will change, but the world trade and peace promises that such changes will not make the US a loser by any means. As the situation of other countries is improving, you just can't expect the US is always the number one. I believe the US is having the power to change, but its leaders have to be smarter to get through this transition and at least the US need to have an upper hand on its economic situation and technology. The US can be as rich/powerful as before even though not everything it is a number one.

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