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Monday, November 19, 2007

More Science and Engineering

Following up on Bill Gates' remarks, this article appeared in the NY Times about biotech programs. From the article:

"We know the refrain by now: the United States, birthplace of most of the great commercial advances of the last 60 years, must increasingly rely on overseas talent, otherwise known as imported brains, to maintain an edge.

Talented immigrants are crucial to American vitality, and employers are smart to woo them. But research universities aren’t content to rely only on the overseas pipeline, and are working to make science and engineering studies more appealing to American students.

Sometimes overlooked in this mix is how high schools can help cultivate a fresh crop of scientists, engineers and lab technicians. Secondary science and mathematics education is on the rise, with growing numbers of students in more challenging classes. Enrollment in advanced biology and physics courses doubled from 1997 to 2004, nearly doubled for advanced math and rose 50 percent for advanced chemistry, according to the National Science Foundation."

A couple of reasons why biotech is popular:

"Biotechnology, for example, remains a promising field, and companies in the industry have less math-intensive demands than electronics and computing employers. So biotech is a popular field with students and is emerging as an educational proving ground."

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