By tapping into the growing number of scientists in China, India and other lower-income countries, US innovators may strengthen their market positions, according to G. Pascal Zachary in The New York Times.
He quotes Christopher T. Hill, a professor of public policy and technology at George Mason University, as saying that the increase in low-cost scientists is pushing down the cost of producing a new scientific discovery around the world.
In the short-term at least, higher spending on scientists by China and India could create a glut in these countries, further driving down wages and the costs of acquiring science — and presenting a "historic opportunity" for the United States (US) to convert scientific know-how from abroad into market gains and profits.
The trend, says Zachary, runs counter to the notion that the US fails to educate enough of its own scientists and that shortages then hamper US competitiveness.
While the US is expected to remain the home of choice for the world's best scientists for some time, industry is increasingly striking deals with scientists in developing countries eager for wider exposure.