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Losing Ground

The US is not keeping the "high ground" in scientific research and engineering, writes Gordon England, former secretary of the Navy and current chair of the National Academy of Engineering, in an opinion piece at the Hill.

He adds that this has follow-on consequences for US national security and the economy.

England cites reports from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation and the American Academy of Arts & Science as showing a decline in US research capability. For instance, the academy noted that the US is not keeping pace with other nations in its investment in research in development as a percentage of its gross domestic product. "What this means is that our federal laboratories and research institutions aren’t aggressive enough and that the Defense Department is not reaping the rewards of the larger and more competitive commercial sector," he says.

Supporting research and keeping it cutting edge, England says, takes predictable level of funding. "Funding disruptions, common now at the federal level, cause havoc in the scientific community," he says. "It is detrimental to the economy and a disservice to the men and women who serve in the military and to all the nation’s research institutions."