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­.s. Scientists See H1-B Visas as Major Issue Against Progress, Says Survey

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U.S. residents hold a high opinion of scientists, but only a minority feel that U.S. scientific achievements are the best in the world, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Among scientists, a majority said that a lack of funding and difficulties in the H-1B visa process for foreign scientists and students are the biggest impediments to their research. The survey found that 56 percent of U.S. scientists said H1-B visa problems are a major barrier to scientific achievement, while 87 percent said a lack of funding is a "very serious" or "serious" problem.

Meanwhile, 17 percent of the U.S. public said that U.S. scientific achievements are the best in the world, and 27 percent said that the U.S.'s advances in science, medicine, and technology were the country's greatest achievements. However, 84 percent of respondents said that science has a "mostly positive" effect on society, and 70 percent said that scientists contribute "a lot" to society's well being.

The scientific community's opinions about the public are not as positive, as 85 percent of surveyed scientists said the general public's lack of scientific knowledge is a problem for science, and 49 percent said that the "public expects solutions to problems too quickly."

From eWeek
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Abstracts Copyright © 2009 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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