As director of a departmental graduate program, I have found it increasingly difficult to recruit the best American college students for careers in scientific research. I believe that over the past five years, this has become the norm rather than the exception throughout American research universities. Many experts have predicted severe problems for America’s technological future if the trend is not reversed. The tremendous influx and reliance upon the brightest foreign students for graduate studies may be internationally noble but it could be nationally disastrous To date, neither experts in government nor academia have been able to identify the causes or find solutions to this complex problem.

I would like to propose one possible cause and a solution to this potential national crisis. Like millions of American families, mine viewed the movie ET by Steven Spielberg on a VCR recently. My wife and I saw the movie for the first...

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