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Is Science Education Broken?

Is science education in America broken? That might seem to be the case, according to a recent report compiled by leaders in the science and business fields that found that the US ranks 48th in the world in STEM education and, according to USA Today, concluded that "stagnant scientific education imperils US economic leadership." The report was an update to the original 2005 report that led to a doubling of federal research funding, says USA Today's Dan Vergano. But despite the added funding, the report suggests there has been little improvement in STEM education.

But Mike the Mad Biologist says the whole idea of a STEM failure is a "myth." Some states, he says, do very well in math — so well, in fact, that they exceed every European country and many Asian countries. Rather, he says there is currently "a scientist glut," with more advanced science degrees being awarded than ever. Some states, Mike says, do miserably in STEM, but the problem isn't as widespread as it may seem. "I don't want us to stop trying to improve education, but if we don't recognize the exact nature of the problem (lagging performance by minorities and the poor) — along with our successes — we will fail fix the problems that do exist, or, even worse, break things that work," he adds.

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.