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Developing countries are often unable to compete with the science and technology opportunities in industrialised countries. Although some nations, such as Brazil, China, and India, are holding on to more of their graduates by investing in education and research, many others are still seeing a steady emigration of scientists.

In this article, Nancy Gore Saravia and Juan Francisco Miranda explain that boosting science and technology is key to stemming the brain drain. Although tax incentives and prestige awards can lure scientists back home, a good scientific infrastructure will be needed if scientists are to work in their native countries.

The authors suggest governments could channel a portion of remittances sent from overseas (for example money transfers from citizens living abroad to friends and family back home) into social development. Mexico is the only country so far to do this. And countries to which scientists emigrate could pay a fee to the home countries as reimbursement for the cost of training.

Full article in the Bulletin of the World Health Organisation (Abstracts are available in Arabic, French and Spanish.)

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