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Consensus Study Report


In a world where advanced knowledge is widespread and low-cost labor is readily available, U.S. advantages in the marketplace and in science and technology have begun to erode. A comprehensive and coordinated federal effort is urgently needed to bolster U.S. competitiveness and pre-eminence in these areas. This congressionally requested report by a pre-eminent committee makes four recommendations along with 20 implementation actions that federal policy-makers should take to create high-quality jobs and focus new science and technology efforts on meeting the nation's needs, especially in the area of clean, affordable energy:

1) Increase America's talent pool by vastly improving K-12 mathematics and science education;

2) Sustain and strengthen the nation's commitment to long-term basic research;

3) Develop, recruit, and retain top students, scientists, and engineers from both the U.S. and abroad; and

4) Ensure that the United States is the premier place in the world for innovation.

Some actions will involve changing existing laws, while others will require financial support that would come from reallocating existing budgets or increasing them. Rising Above the Gathering Storm will be of great interest to federal and state government agencies, educators and schools, public decision makers, research sponsors, regulatory analysts, and scholars.


Suggested Citation

National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

590 pages |  6 x 9 |  Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-309-18758-9
Chapters skim
Front Matter i-xxvi
Executive Summary 1-22
1 A Disturbing Mosaic 23-40
2 Why Are Science and Technology Critical to America's Prosperity in the 21st Century? 41-67
3 How Is America Doing Now in Science and Technology? 68-106
4 Method 107-111
5 What Actions Should America Take in K–12 Science and Mathematics Education to Remain Prosperous in the 21st Century? 112-135
6 What Actions Should America Take in Science and Engineering Research to Remain Prosperous in the 21st Century? 136-161
7 What Actions Should America Take in Science and Engineering Higher Education to Remain Prosperous in the 21st Century? 162-181
8 What Actions Should America Take in Economic and Technology Policy to Remain Prosperous in the 21st Century? 182-203
9 What Might Life in the United States Be Like if It Is Not Competitive in Science and Technology? 204-224
Appendix A Committee and Professional Staff Biographic Information 225-240
Appendix B Statement of Task and Congressional Correspondence 241-248
Appendix C Focus-Group Sessions 249-300
Appendix D Issue Briefs 301-302
K–12 Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education 303-324
Attracting the Most Able US Students to Science and Engineering 325-341
Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Education in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics 342-356
Implications of Changes in the Financing of Public Higher Education 357-376
International Students and Researchers in the United States 377-396
Achieving Balance and Adequacy in Federal Science and Technology Funding 397-414
The Productivity of Scientific and Technological Research 415-422
Investing in High-Risk and Breakthrough Research 423-431
Ensuring That the United States Is at the Forefront in Critical Fields of Science and Technology 432-443
Understanding Trends in Science and Technology Critical to US Prosperity 444-454
Ensuring That the United States Has the Best Environment for Innovation 455-472
Scientific Communication and Security 473-482
Science and Technology Issues in National and Homeland Security 483-500
Appendix E Estimated Recommendation Cost Tables 501-512
Appendix F K–12 Education Recommendations Supplementary Information 513-516
Appendix G Bibliography 517-536
Index 537-564

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