The statistics are familiar: Countries around the world, particularly in Asia, are increasing investment in science and R+D while American investment in the sciences is rapidly falling. More than half of the world's engineering bachelor's degrees are earned in Asia, according to the National Science Foundation, while American graduates account for just 4 percent of these degrees. And yet America's scientists still inspire the world: This summer NASA successfully landed the Curiosity Rover on Mars, becoming the first nation to land an operative vehicle on the Red Planet. American companies are still at the forefront of global innovation, with Silicon Valley serving as a hub for revolutionary new ideas and technologies. Breakthroughs in disease research, product development, space exploration, and more have all incubated in American labs.
The Atlantic's Big Science Summit will celebrate these successes even as it draws attention to the future, asking questions about how our nation will fare if R+D spending is further reduced. With many of the country's leading scientists and innovators on stage, The Atlantic's Big Science Summit will underscore the relationship of science to innovation, celebrate recent scientific coups, and look ahead to what's next.
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Since 1857, The Atlantic has helped shape the national debate on the most critical and contentious issues of our times, from politics, business, and the economy, to technology, arts, and culture. Through in-depth analysis in the monthly print magazine, complemented by up-to-the-minute insights delivered throughout the day on theatlantic.com, The Atlantic provides the nation’s thought leaders and professional class with forward-looking, fresh perspectives that provoke and challenge, define and affect the lives we’re living today, and give shape to the lives we will live tomorrow.