NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


August 27, 2004

A European Commission survey recently concluded that Europe's brightest minds have decided that the United States is the place to be, and they are worried. In a recent conference in Paris dedicated to the subject, the survey revealed:

  • More than 70 percent of the EU-born recipients of U.S. doctorates between 1991 and 2000 planned to stay in America.
  • Already some 100,000 European-born researchers currently work in the United States.
  • The European Commission frets that by the end of this decade Europe will have 700,000 fewer scientists and engineers than will be needed to compete in the global knowledge economy.

The high quality of teaching and research in the United States is among the scientists' prime motivation for seeking career opportunities in America.

  • Europe invests 40 percent less in research and development than the United States -- with most of the difference accounted for by our much larger private-sector investment.
  • Government funding in much of Europe keeps most universities at the same mediocre level while creating stifling bureaucracies and burdensome restrictions.

This may help explain why the four German scientists who won Nobel Prizes in physics and medicine between 1998 and 2001 all worked in the United States.

Source: Wall Street Journal, "Losing Their Minds," August 19, 2004.

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