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If the federal government is expected to act in the national public interest, safeguarding the continued development of the country’s home-grown science and technology (S&T) should be a top priority. Such development has been central to the prosperity of America’s market-oriented economy and has contributed to an elevated standard of living (Galama & Hosek, 2007). Through adequate education it also has the potential to increase the scientific literacy of the electorate, which is crucial in the formation of reliably informed public opinion on science-related policy issues such as funding for stem cell research, strategies for environmental conservation, and reforms for public education. Enhancement of American science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education at all levels, even early childhood, is therefore a justifiable federal priority.
Published in The Journal of Science Policy & Governance.