The new Oz pg. 3
* calculated in U.S. dollars using purchasing power parities.
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Main Science and Technology Indicators, 2008.
Data: 2007 or latest year available.
World = OECD members plus Argentina, China, Romania, Israel, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa and Taiwan.
AUGUST ‘08 © 2008 AAAS
In the last century, many research roads blazed a one-way path toward the United States. Increasingly, they now offer more attractive passage in other directions.
Along with top U.S. scientists heading to other lands like Singapore—an “American brain drain,” writes leading innovation expert John Kao in “Innovation Nation”—foreign students and scientists who come to U.S. shores are more apt to leave.
Jeffrey Conn, Ph.D., the Lee E. Limbird Professor of Pharmacology and director of the Vanderbilt Program in Drug Discovery, notes that the best graduate student he’s had since he joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 2003 intends to return to his native China to pursue academic research.
“That was unheard of 15 years ago,” Conn says. “Students and scientists would come here with a desire to stay—now the best come with a desire to go back (to their home countries). It’s anecdotal, but it’s so pervasive that everyone sees it in their own students and experience.”
Lin Mei, M.D., Ph.D., agrees. Mei is a program chief in the Medical College of Georgia’s Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics who has watched students and research fellows return to China.
Two of his recent postdoctoral fellows, both of whom had published papers in the high-profile journals Neuron and Nature Neuroscience, have taken positions in China—one at the Institute of Neuroscience in Shanghai that Mei helped found, and the other at one of China’s top five universities.