Hopkins’ Brody to discuss reversing U.S. competitiveness trends at GBC event

When the subject of global competitiveness comes up, Johns Hopkins University president William R. Brody points to worrisome trends in the U.S. that, he says, are in urgent need of attention.

His list of concerns includes the following three observations:

Europe now produces twice the number of scientists and engineers as does the U.S.

As a percentage of gross domestic product, overall U.S. government research and development spending peaked 40 years ago.

In the 1990s, the U.S. share of bachelor of engineering degrees granted in the world dropped by half – from 12 percent in 1991 to six percent in 2000.

While these kinds of trends are ominous warning signs for our country, Brody contends that the United States does not have to accept its eroding competitiveness if we can successfully re-apply the “calculus of innovation,” that powered the U.S. to its post-World War II global prominence.

Brody, who serves on the executive committee of the Council of Competitiveness, will outline his strategies for meeting the challenge of bolstering America’s talent pool at the GBC’s Public Policy Dialogue on March 21 at the Center Club. The breakfast event, sponsored by Legg Mason, is open to GBC members and non-members.

The “calculus of innovation,” says Brody, is simple: “Knowledge drives innovation; innovation drives productivity; productivity drives our economic growth.”

Speaking on the topic, “U.S. Competitiveness and the Need to Innovate,” Brody will detail why the U.S. is “losing the skills race” and propose priorities our nation must set for itself to renew our competitive edge. He will discuss national tactics that we could employ to strengthen our talent pool and overall research and development capabilities.

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