Q: How healthy is U.S. science?

GOLDBEGER: I think U.S. science is quite healthy in most of the forefront areas. In biology, it seems to be extremely strong. In condensed matter physics and related device physics, it’s very strong. In astronomy, astrophysics, there’s little question that the United States is the unchallenged world leader. In elementary particle physics and high energy physics, we have sort of a bifurcated situation. On the theoretical side, the United States is probably the world leader in elementary particle theory. On the experimental side, there’s little question that we’ve lost tremendous ground to the Europeans. The Soviet Union is not in the league, with the possible exception of their activities in theoretical physics. So, on the whole, American science is very strong.

But in a number of areas we’re clearly being challenged. In biology, to the extent that one regards sequencing the human genome as...

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