The Sciences

Science Doctorates are Booming

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyDec 10, 2008 5:30 PM

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I have no idea why NSF hasn't issued a press release, but here are the data (PDF). Since 2002, total science and engineering doctorates granted in the U.S. have increased from 24,608 to 31,801 (in 2007). That's five straight years of increases. You can look at all the data yourself, but the life sciences and engineering are doing particularly well. And yes, there's a growth in non-U.S. citizen doctorate winners, but it's part of a trend of growth in all categories. In short, we're training and producing more minted scientists than ever in this country. That's a very good thing--although it certainly complicates the oft-heard argument that the U.S. is seeing a decline in its scientific capacity or workforce. Sheril and I get into much more detail on all of this, and what it means, in Unscientific America--but for now, I'll just leave you with a question. What do people think--are we keeping up with the China-India science surge after all?

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