The American Research University: Achievements, Challenges, and Responses
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The output of research universities has been a source of American economic leadership since the Second World War, but today American leadership is threatened by (1) declining and volatile Federal government support for research, and (2) dramatically declining state government support for education in our public universities. This talk provides data illustrating that economic growth depends on technology derived principally from university-based scientific research. It documents the success of the unique U.S. system for the organization of science, and examines data that suggest that increased public spending on healthcare is responsible for the erosion of support for science and public education. Proposed solutions include (1) providing steady, predictable increases in research funding, (2) making research more efficient through reform of the Federal grant programs, (3) using technology to lower the cost of education, and (4) solving the healthcare financing problem.