Saturday, March 15, 2014

Sunil Kumar: the US has "more than enough" scientists, inventors and chemists

From this week's C&EN, Marc Reisch interviews Sunil Kumar, a retired CEO of ISP (a specialty chemical firm) with an unconventional comment on the STEM shortage myth (emphasis mine):
India’s economy grows at 6% a year, but its per capita output is stagnant because of population growth. In the U.S., lower population growth and 3% economic growth mean real per capita growth. And although India graduates large numbers of engineers, most, Kumar contends, aren’t well trained. 
“There must be something wrong when a country that graduates 300,000 engineers per year gets no Nobel Prizes, gets few patents, and has only a $1.8 trillion economy,” Kumar says. 
He sees no need for the U.S. to churn out engineers to better compete with India. Although the U.S. can always stand to improve its educational system, Kumar says, the country already “has more than enough brilliant scientists, inventors, and chemists.” 
What the U.S. shouldn’t do, Kumar says, is send talented foreigners trained in U.S. schools back to their home countries because of visa restrictions. “That is like gold slipping through your fingers,” he says.
A refreshing set of ideas, especially from the C-suite. 

3 comments:

  1. So we have the evidence and many voices acknowledging that there is no widespread shortage of scientists/engineers in the U.S.
    How do we get the message through to our politicians?

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    Replies
    1. We don't. There are strong financial incentives to being wrong, and the politicians only listen to whomever writes the checks.

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  2. This gentleman is speaking truth. The problem for the USA and the shortage of STEM is not because of India, but China! I am hearing that because of all the ineptness he is talking about India, it is the out sourcing of jobs to China that will do us in, if not done already!

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