This is exactly what I was talking about last week: the U.S. losing its edge in scientific research.
Bingaman and Alexander asked last May for a panel of experts at the National Academy of Science to investigate the matter. In their report, called “Rising Above the Gathering Storm” and presented to Congress in October, the experts said they are “deeply concerned that the scientific and technical building blocks of our economic leadership are eroding at a time when many other nations are gathering strength.”
I place a huge amount of weight in a liberal education in college, because the social science and humanities are just too damn cool. We cannot flourish as a society without them.
However, scientific advancement has driven our economy for the last century. And New Mexico’s history is deep when it comes to this: from Goddard’s pioneering work on rockets and the development of the atomic bomb during World War II, to all the research and development done at the Sandia and Los Alamos national labs since.
We’ll continue to face myriad challenges as this century progresses, and we must do everything we can to ensure New Mexico, and the United States, progress as well. For example, with Domenici’s help, we’re working on desalination technology in the Tularosa Basin, near Alamogordo. Projects like this one are the ones we need to pursue to stay competetive in the global economy, and we simply can’t do it without quality science students.