Thursday, April 13, 2006

Where the smart people are

I work at a large, intense and highly competitive corporation. When the VPs discuss the competition and the challenges we face, they often point out that “there are a lot of really smart people in the world … and they don’t all work at [our company]. "

As school boards and legislators around the country rumble over science education, they need to keep in mind that there are a lot of really smart, talented and motivated people in the world … and they don’t all live in the great ol’ U S of A.

Check out this story on the SciDev website: “Scientific literacy: a new strategic priority for China.”

Raising public awareness about science has, for the first time, been made an official part of China's national development strategy.

The plan has two main aims: boosting China's scientific power and the role that science plays in the country's development, and equipping Chinese citizens with the skills needed to apply an understanding of science and technology to daily life.

Whether you like it or not, we live in a global economy. While we’re dinking around with science education standards to make them more palatable to people who don’t really understand science, other countries are working hard to move forward. Nowhere is it written that the US will always be the center of invention and innovation. If we want to stay competitive in the 21st century, we’d better get serious about giving our kids the best science education possible. (And it wouldn’t hurt to make sure their parents are also science literate.)

Note: SciDev is a good site to bookmark if you want to see science headlines from the developing world.


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