US Scientists Are Leaving The Country And Taking The Innovation Economy With Them

Janet Rae-Dupree | Forbes | September 25, 2013

Federal funding cuts, and the insidious damage caused just since March by federal budget sequestration, have forced nearly one in five U.S. scientists to consider moving overseas to continue their research.

While that immediate threat of a brain drain is alarming enough, it’s the long-term effects of sagging federal research funding that pose the greatest threat to our very survival. The cause-and-effect is simple: If Congress continues to refuse to fund the future, the decline of America’s much-touted “innovation economy” will accelerate fatally.

“Research labs are to the national scientific enterprise what small businesses are to the American economy,” notes a new report — Unlimited Potential, Vanishing Opportunity – released this month by a coalition of 16 science organizations. “Individual labs, funded by federal grants for research, employ young scientists and make the discoveries that tech companies capitalize on.”