More and more US Americans now doubt the ability of the United States to continue being a global leader in the science and technology sectors and in the field of health care and medical research.
When it comes to new technologies, a majority of people on the other side of the Atlantic are now sceptical about their country’s future. Some 58% of all US citizens do not believe their country will be capable of remaining No. 1 in the world in the field of science and technology by 2020. Yet these sectors have accounted for nearly half of all US economic growth since World War II. Americans’ assessment of their status is not much better when it comes to health and medical research either, 53% of those polled predicting that the US will lose its top spot. These are the findings of an online survey* carried out this month by JZ Analytics for the National Public Opinion Poll.
So what’s behind these concerns? “Lacklustre investment in science and innovation is driving fears among Americans about our world dominance in the years ahead,” explains John E. Porter, a former Illinois Congressman who is Chairman of Research!America, adding that “these concerns will most likely increase unless policymakers take action to avoid serious consequences, such as a major loss of U.S. jobs, business, and output in innovation.” However, despite this sluggish financing, 91% of all Americans say it is important for the US to maintain its world leadership role in these sectors.
Long-term research and development required
Of those polled, 78% consider that if the United States is to remain competitive and prosper, it is important to remain a world leader in the science sector, while 65% say it's important for the US to be a leader in medical and health research. With the presidential elections just around the corner, 64% of those surveyed stated that they would be more likely to vote for a presidential candidate who supports increased government funding for medical and health research. And a vast majority of likely voters also think it is important for candidates to debate issues relating to science, innovation and health during the campaign.