America needs more scientists and engineers. Will a contest help?

Posted on June 5, 2012. Filed under: science & technology, society | Tags: , , | is engaged in a June  “full-court press” (it’s own words) to investigate why science education is lagging and how to improve it.  According to Slate “Inspiring the next generation of inventors, healers, and builders is perhaps the single most important public policy question of our time.”

In addition to stories that will run this month, Slate is soliciting proposals that you, I, and anyone can make and vote on.  This approach to idea generation has been used by government agencies and some private sector companies to decent effect, although typically the agency or organization has the power to implement the ideas that rise to the top.

So do I think a contest will help America begin to build back its cadre of scientists and engineers?  Not really.  Not this one.  But any effort to keep the conversation going is worth it in my book.  Your thoughts?


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