and exchange. Offering such opportunities, the United States has been an attractive choice for many of the brightest minds around the world. In fact, today about a quarter of the Nobel laureates living in the United States were born overseas, as Ralph Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences, said in his welcoming remarks.
C. D. Mote Jr., of the University of Maryland, summarized major changes of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries related to science. Following the Vannevar Bush report Science: The Endless Frontier, delivered to President Truman in 1945, the U.S. “national innovation environment”2 was created through a partnership between government, industry, and universities delineating responsibilities for national health, welfare, and security. With the substantial changes the world experienced after the cold war, this partnership, while remarkably successful for decades, no longer corresponds to the realities that emerged in the 1990s.
The cold war period (1945–1990), Mote argued, was characterized throughout the world by a paradigm of “isolation and control” of information and innovation for national security and commercialization purposes. This paradigm has been replaced by one of “partnerships and engagement” to most effectively accelerate innovation, discovery in science, and creation of the technologies shaping the twenty-first century. However, many U.S. policies, such as export controls or travel, visa, and employment restrictions for foreign visitors, were put in place many years ago and reflect the isolation and control perspective of the past and are not adaptive in a rapidly changing world.
Businesses and industry no longer operate on a national platform but on a global platform, not for a lack of national interest, but because new economic realities dominate the identification of science and technology investments likely to be most effective. Similarly, Mote said, governments face concerns of an increasingly global nature that are rooted in science and technology and that require partnerships between and among governments: currency valuation, interest rates, climate change,
2Major elements of the U.S. national innovation environment were laid out in Science: The Endless Frontier (1945). This was not stipulated in law to be the “national innovation environment” and was not adopted formally by the nation. However, the policy recommendations of Science: The Endless Frontier were followed closely by the nation. What followed in the cold war period was a consequence of the assignment of responsibilities in that report and the nation’s adherence to its guidance.
Mote first formulated the ideas outlined in this section for the National Academies’ report S&T Strategies of Six Countries: Implications for the United States (2010).