STH-oriented foreign students, continue to move to the United States for temporary or permanent residence each year. Thus, for the foreseeable future, with the United States using both its native human resources and expertise from abroad, American science and technology will continue to be a pacesetter for the world.
The Department is in an excellent position to draw on the capabilities of the U.S. STH community to obtain authoritative information and considered advice on complex issues such as limitations on rocket technologies, health and environmental implications of trade in genetically modified food products, and the potential of new types of energy sources. Moreover, the Department has the opportunity to promote new international STH programs—in space, on the oceans, in laboratories, and elsewhere—that serve the mutual interests of the United States and partner countries. Also, the Department can call on the STH communities to provide early warning and suggested policies on major issues that affect many nations, such as those whose population growth rates are high, food supplies constrained, and land and water resources overtaxed.
In sum, the nation's foreign policy agenda is constantly facing new challenges, many driven by STH developments at home and abroad; but the culture of the Foreign Service, the Department, and indeed the foreign affairs community in general places relatively low value on STH skills. Although the Department can draw on the extensive STH resources of the country, there must be greater STH awareness throughout the Department and adequate mechanisms within it for utilizing external STH resources in a timely and effective manner. Success in the development of skills to handle issues with STH content by employees throughout the Department will be a significant determinant of how U.S. foreign policy benefits from STH advances that have propelled American economic and national security capabilities to the forefront and have made American science the envy of the world.