Will we ever see HUGE government initiatives for Science and Engineering jobs?

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You can tell me if this is bull**** but it seems to me that all there is left for America (whether it is possible to fund is another story) to create more jobs is to make engineering and especially science a regular, highly funded aspect of the government.

There is a glut of science PhD's in this country, and it's clear that the nation overall could be making unprecedented breakthroughs in science if all or most of them were put to work in their respective fields. To me, the only justification for big government is to fund this type of an initiative.

What are your thoughts? What do you guys think about this issue, and what will likely happen in the near future?


*edit: also, should children be given intense science education starting at a much, much younger age? With all of the previous discoveries/knowledge there is to learn in order for one's work to contribute to even more specialized fields, is the current education system sustainable and effective?
 
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  • #2
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You can tell me if this is bull**** but it seems to me that all there is left for America (whether it is possible to fund is another story) to create more jobs is to make engineering and especially science a regular, highly funded aspect of the government.

There is a glut of science PhD's in this country, and it's clear that the nation overall could be making unprecedented breakthroughs in science if all or most of them were put to work in their respective fields. To me, the only justification for big government is to fund this type of an initiative.

What are your thoughts? What do you guys think about this issue, and what will likely happen in the near future?
I agree. Not even to just create more jobs I think that more science specific jobs should be created just for sheer amount of knowledge we have to gain from it. I wanted to go into Biology but when I was looking at job outlooks it didn't look so great. Now I'm not sure if it's worth the time or money.
 
  • #3
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From the economic point of view, Science/Engineering in US is a huge financial drain when same can be done if outsourced for a fraction of the cost. Companies that have outsourced have been tapping cheap labor and as a result generate more wealth which can be reinvested to make better products.
 
  • #4
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Companies that have outsourced have been tapping cheap labor and as a result generate more wealth which can be reinvested to make better products.
1.
Not true in all cases. I have heard of some outsourced projects that failed so the company had to spend more money hiring local peoples to fix the things... I think only big budget projects are outsourced currently and there are special companies (e.g. http://www.accenture.com/) that carry out the projects. But still you need to have someone here to meet with customer and define requirements/keep constant communication.

(My past employer went outside country for a month while I was starting on a new project. Because of inadequate communication, it took twice the time relative to other ones. He tried outsourcing before me)

2.
Other countries might not have as technological advanced tools as US. Most funding is done for research in new areas. Why would you outsource when the other country government doesn't provide sufficient support for carrying out the research?

3.
Political instabilities/Dealing with the laws
(Google in China)
 
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  • #5
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Somewhat ironically, the US's victory in the cold war may be a major reason for the reduction (or reduction as percentage of spending, I don't have the figures) you are talking about.
 
  • #6
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There is a glut of science PhD's in this country
I think that's nonsense. The "problem" is that there are more science PhD's produced that can go down a career path that produces more science PhD's. But it's not like they are unemployed or unemployable.

I have what most people would call a successful research career. I also have people from industry calling regularly trying to entice me to leave it and work for them.
 
  • #7
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Somewhat ironically, the US's victory in the cold war may be a major reason for the reduction (or reduction as percentage of spending, I don't have the figures) you are talking about.
Yes, and this begs the question of whether it is possible to maintain the masses' interest in science when there is no "big threat" looming over us.

However, it seems that the "big threat" could come in the shape of depleting resources coupled with overpopulation. Ironically, though, that doesn't feel as imminent as pitting ourselves in competition against other human beings (as in the case of the USSR). Human nature, I guess.
 
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  • #8
calculusrocks
Maybe Thomas Edison knows, or perhaps John Galt.
 
  • #9
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We already have "huge government initiatives" for science and engineering. See the defense and aerospace industries.
 
  • #10
russ_watters
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TVA, Apollo program, Manhattan Project, Army Corps of Engineers...

Heck, anything that supports infrastructure is an engineering initiative.
 
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