We live in an era in which every one of us needs massive amounts of technology just to survive, and lots more to stay as comfortable as we are. Yet, paradoxically, there is a great deal of denigration in the UK and US for mathematics, science and engineering and the people who have skills in those areas, which discourages many from those fields of study. It is to the point where there are sometimes two jobs per graduate.
Can we make the cultural shift to nurture and reward those people, or are we doomed to drop backwards?
Yet another conversation with a wealthy parent (she pushes papers, he is a corporate lawyer) does not give me much hope. All the ones that I have talked to assume that we need such specialists, who will be someone else's children, but their own will go to college, graduate in non-technical fields, and then have successful high-paying careers. I cannot make these parents understand that we have run out of the wealth to get the technology from elsewhere, so we have to make it here. Without a manufacturing base, those nice parasitic managerial and service jobs just won't exist.
Or perhaps I'm wrong, and should have gone into accounting, instead of mathematics teaching and engineering research.