Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Go East, Young Man

Horace Greeley famously urged young Americans to go west. But my advice to young academics is to go east.

Unless personal ties totally prevent you from going there, China would probably be a wonderful place for young American scientists. In two recent issues of Science magazine (9 December and 16 December, 2016), China bought huge advertisements to tell you young American scientists how much they want you. They bought 72 pages of some of the most expensive advertising in the magazine world to invite you. This is in addition to the numerous smaller advertisements about which I reported earlier this year. Though they did not say so, it is clear that they are capitalizing on the hostility that American scientists are receiving from the Trump Administration.

France has made their call even clearer. At the head of the news section in the February 10, 2017 issue of Science, there is a quote from Emmanuel Macron, who is the new president of France. Macron issued a “solemn call” to American scientists. He said, “From next May, you will have a new homeland: France.”

The American federal government, and numerous state governments (such as Oklahoma, where I live), scientists are considered to be liabilities and even mildly dangerous. A law that its sponsors intended as a way of rescuing students from evil scientists narrowly missed passage in the Oklahoma House.


Personally, I just want to hold out until retirement. But for those of you younger scientists who have a little career flexibility, consider accepting an offer from a country that wants you.

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