wise been increasingly apparent that an associated major determinant is human capital, represented in the output of programs of education and training for the S&E workforce.
The relationship of innovation and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education has been recognized in several major reports, and these reports have formed the basis for major program initiatives. The recent report, Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Future, concluded that a primary driver of the future economy and concomitant creation of jobs will be innovation, largely derived from advances in science and engineering (National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine, 2007). Underscoring the case for R&D investment is the conclusion by the National Science Board that “while only four percent of the nation’s work force is composed of scientists and engineers, this group disproportionately creates jobs for the other 96 percent” (National Science Board, 2010a, Figure 3-3).
The 2010 follow-up report to the Gathering Storm report further concluded that “substantial evidence continues to indicate that over the long term the great majority of newly created jobs are the indirect or direct result of advancements in science and technology, thus making these and related disciplines assume what might be described as disproportionate importance” (National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine, 2010, p. 18).
The conclusions of these reports are based on analysis that relies heavily on the data that are produced by NCSES. Indeed, the need for good data on science and engineering was recognized as a principle for competitiveness in another recent report, which concluded that “benchmarking national competitiveness across a set of established and forward looking metrics—measuring both inputs such as education, R&D spending, patents and outputs such as job creation, new industries and products, gross domestic product growth and quality of life—is necessary to drive the successful development and implementation of appropriate competitiveness policies” (Global Confederation of Competitiveness Councils, 2010, p. 3).
The three pillars on which the White House Strategy for American Innovation are built—education, research, and private-sector innovation1—are topics on which NCSES now collects data. The White House strategy focuses on educating the next generation with 21st century skills, creating a world-class workforce, and strengthening and broadening American leadership in fundamental research. In order to measure progress in educating the next generation, data are needed on progress in STEM education and its outcomes. The place of American leadership in fundamental research
1See http://www.whitehouse.gov/innovation/strategy/executive-summary [November 2011].