Ask me a question!

Or rather, don’t. Here’s this week’s “ask a science blogger” question:

Do you think there is a brain drain going on (i.e. foreign scientists not coming to work and study in the U.S. like they used to, because of new immigration rules and the general unpopularity of the U.S.) If so, what are its implications? Is there anything we can do about it?

Just read Mark. His answer is perfect.

The one thing we could do about it is kick a lot of Republicans out of Washington, and a lot of spineless Democrats, too. I don’t see it happening.

(Oh, and do go say hello to Good Math, Bad Math, a member of the new cohort of sciencebloggers here.)


  1. #1 Jonathan Badger
    June 5, 2006

    Mark is certainly right about the whole border crossing issue, but you also have to take into account that employers in the US are finally beginning to lose their prejudice and acknowledge that there are first-class schools outside the US. For example, twenty years ago a degree from IIT-Bombay or IIT-Kanpur might be seen as second rate by Americans, but now most Westerners realize that they are as prestigious as MIT degrees. So, getting into a US school isn’t as important as it once was.

  2. #2 Stanton
    June 5, 2006

    Should we move to Brunei or Qatar?

  3. #3 NatureSelectedMe
    June 6, 2006

    Tough nut to crack. We have to watch for bad guys but how far do you go? I guess we have to think of what would let Mark’s students in but stop Atta.

    I have to pick on the question though. A ‘Brain drain’? Isn’t that stupid? Look, a drain is what takes my dishwater away. A faucet is what fills it up. Shouldn’t that be ‘brain low pressure’? A ‘Brain drain’ is when brains are leaving somewhere. Stupid question.

  4. #4 dr. strangelove
    June 6, 2006

    As a European (Dutch) I find this rather ironic. For years there’s been complaints at many European universities that science is overlooked by our governments. This is especially true in The Netherland; funding for universities keeps getting cut, and while we proclaim ourselves to have a ‘knowledge industry’, we are definitely not funding that industry the way it should be. As a result, most top scientists move to countries where science is funded the way it should be, most often the United States.

    So it’s nice to hear some good things about the current US regime for once. Because of Bush and his cronies we can keep our top thinkers at home 🙂

  5. #5 G. Tingey
    June 6, 2006

    A warning to everyone currently IN the USA – make really sure you have ready means of exit, for when Gilead comes (probably just after the “election” of 2016)
    make sure you can get to Canada, or Australia or Britain …..

  6. #6 Alon Levy
    June 6, 2006

    Gilead won’t come. The Dominion will not come in a quick Mussolini-style coup, but in a gradual Hitlerian process compatible with the Constitution and existing structures. And if it does come, it will be militant enough for fleeing to simply take you from the Dominion proper to Dominion territories.

  7. #7 Dianne
    June 6, 2006

    So it’s nice to hear some good things about the current US regime for once. Because of Bush and his cronies we can keep our top thinkers at home 🙂

    Want to hear something even better about the Bush regime then? He’s sending researchers your way. It’d go quicker if you had more job openings, though. If I could get a job in the Netherlands, I’d be packing now. Just say where to send the CV.

  8. #8 G. Tingey
    June 7, 2006

    Neither Hitler nor Mussolini staged a “coup” in the usual sense.
    It was all legal – Musso. “marched to Rome” in the overnight sleeping-car train!
    Adolf just scraped an election in which the Nazis were the largest party, but only got either three or four seats in the cabinet – except that Adolf was Reichskanzler … and he then outmanouevered them all – helped by the oh-so convenient Reichstag Fire.

    The US will be similar.

    The religious right’s candidate (probably in 2016) will only just “win”, with som very dubious vote-counting and disbarring of electors (sound familiar – they’re PRACTISING!) … there will be considerable unrest and disturbances, and the new “president” will declare a state of emergency … and a few weeks later, because of “continuing problems” (or some such) will suspend your constitution, and THEN it will be too late.

    Frighteningly easy, isn’t it?

  9. #9 greensmile
    June 7, 2006

    There is nothing much to speculate on in this question.
    Our new, artificial barriers to emmigrant talent are now having their full effect in my industry. How about yours?

  10. #10 greensmile
    June 7, 2006

    or “immigrant” depending on which side of the fence you stand;^)

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