Back in January of 2004, we looked at the issue of whether the balance of scientific power was shifting away from the U.S. The concern was (and remains) the discouragement of the worlds’ most gifted graduate students from coming to the United States.
Considering that the U.S. is the world’s largest consumer of intellect, potentially losing the battle for this talent would have profound implications for the nation’s long term economic health.
Now, a new book out takes an potentially direr look at the world’s hunt for intellectual firepower. Its by Richard Florida, and is titled The Flight of the Creative Class: New Global Competition for Talent. Florida’s prior book: The Rise of the Creative Class: How It’s Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life was well received.
Here’s an excerpt from an interview with the author:
Following up on The Rise of the Creative Class (2002), Florida argues that if America continues to make it harder for some of the world’s most talented students and workers to come here, they’ll go to other countries eager to tap into their creative capabilities. He argues that the loss of even a few geniuses can have tremendous impact, adding that the "overblown" economic threat posed by large nations such as China and India obscures all the little blows inflicted upon the U.S. by Canada, Scandinavia, New Zealand and other countries with more open political climates. Florida lays his case out well and devotes a significant portion of this polemical analysis to defending his earlier book’s argument regarding "technology, talent, and tolerance" (i.e. that together, they generate economic clout, so the U.S. should be more progressive on gay rights and government spending). Even when he drills down to less panoramic vistas, however, Florida remains an astute observer of what makes economic communities tick, and he’s sure to generate just as much public debate on this new twist on brain drain.
I have yet to read this, but the threatened brain drain is something I’ve been tracking.
Anyone who’s read this please feel free to comment below . . .