all of the technology used for military purposes. In fact, this technology is increasingly originating in commercial endeavors. The news media remind us almost daily that information, even ostensibly secure information, can no longer be controlled reliably.
The United States does not lead in all areas of science and technology, and it may not be possible to regain that leadership. The impact factor of research publications has long been held up as an indicator of a nation’s leadership in science and technology. After ranking first globally in research publication impact for decades, the United States slipped to third in 2011, following the United Kingdom and Germany (Figure 1-1) despite maintaining the highest national investment in research (Marshall and Travis, 2011). The 2010-2011 World Economic Forum in Davos ranked the U.S. economic competitiveness fourth among 139 countries after it had ranked second a year earlier and first a year before that (World Economic Forum, 2010, pp. 21 and 421). The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation ranked the United States sixth in global innovation and competitiveness in 2009, down from first in 1999 and earlier (Atkinson and Andes, 2009).
In 2008 the percentage of engineering graduates among all university graduates in the United States remained among the lowest in the world, at 4.4 percent. The percentages of engineering graduates in some other countries are as follows: Germany (12 percent), U.K. (6 percent), Finland (15 percent), France (14 percent), China (31 percent), Japan (17 percent), S. Korea (25 percent), Taiwan (24 percent), Israel (10 percent), Russia (10 percent), and Singapore (34 percent). The global average percentage of engineering graduates among the 93 countries shown in an analysis by the National Science Foundation (NSF) (National Science Board, 2012, Appendix Table 2-32) is 13 percent, three times the U.S. rate. Among all 93 countries in the referenced NSF data, Mozambique most closely resembles the United States, with engineering graduates at 4.5 percent and science and engineering graduates at 32 percent. Only 14 countries in the NSF analysis graduate a lower percentage of engineers than the United States: Bangladesh, Brunei, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cuba, Gambia, Guyana, Lesotho, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Namibia, Saudi Arabia, and Swaziland.
Since WWII, attracting the very top students from abroad to enroll in U.S. graduate programs and then stay on in the United States to develop their engineering careers has largely compensated for the shortfall in U.S.-born
FIGURE 1-1 Global research publication impact.
NOTE: Counts are national averages and are normalized to the average number of citations in the respective research discipline.
SOURCE: Marshall and Travis (2011).