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No Longer 'Uncontested'

The US has seen its share of global activity in some science and engineering areas decrease, even as its absolute activity in the space has grown, Inside Higher Ed reports.

In its biennial report on the state of science and engineering in the US, the National Science Board says that US investment in research and development has grown — $548 billion in 2017 — as has the country's scientific and engineering workforce. But the report adds that other countries like China have also been investing in science and engineering. China spent $496 billion on research and development in 2017.

"The continued spread of science and engineering capacity across the globe is good for humanity: science is not a zero-sum game," Julia Phillips, chair of the NSB Science and Engineering Policy Committee, tells Inside Higher Ed. "However, this also means that where once the US was the uncontested leader in science and engineering, we are now playing a less dominant role in many areas."

The NSB report also notes that the US awards the most doctoral degrees in science and engineering and remains a top destination for international students, between 64 percent and 71 percent of whom stay in the US after concluding their studies.