Michio Kaku: We’re Born Scientists But Switch to Investment Banking (and More Culture Around the Web)

Physics of the Future: How Sci­ence Will Shape Human Des­tiny and Our Dai­ly Lives by the Year 2100That’s the new book by the­o­ret­i­cal physi­cist, best-sell­ing author, and unabashed pop­u­lar­iz­er of sci­ence Michio Kaku. And, here’s one pre­dic­tion he makes. The U.S. won’t play as promi­nent a role in sci­ence dur­ing the years ahead. The rea­son why he explains in The Wall Street Jour­nal.

Fifty per­cent of Ph.D. physi­cists are for­eign-born, and they’re here com­pli­ments of the H1‑B visa. There’s a brain drain into the Unit­ed States; that’s why we’re still No. 1. But it can’t last for­ev­er.

And indeed while Chi­na and India start to lure their best tal­ent home, the best Amer­i­can stu­dents are leav­ing the hard sci­ences for lucra­tive careers, such as invest­ment bank­ing. Kaku goes on to say:

I have noth­ing against invest­ment bank­ing, but it’s like mas­sag­ing mon­ey rather than cre­at­ing mon­ey. If you’re in physics, you cre­ate inven­tions, you cre­ate lasers, you cre­ate tran­sis­tors, com­put­ers, GPS. [If you’re an invest­ment banker, on the oth­er hand] you don’t cre­ate any­thing new. You sim­ply mas­sage oth­er peo­ple’s mon­ey and take a cut.

More Cul­ture Around the Web:

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World’s Old­est Charles Dick­ens Film Dis­cov­ered

How To Be Cre­ative. Jon­ah Lehrer on Why Any­one Can Inno­vate

Josef Skvorecky on the Nazis’ Con­trol-Freak Hatred of Jazz

Author Neil Gaiman Talks about His Trust­ed Foun­tain Pens

Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Sen­ate Tes­ti­mo­ny from this Week on the Past, Present, & Future of NASA

Beat poet Allen Gins­berg Inter­viewed by Con­ser­v­a­tive Colum­nist John Lofton, 1990

Intro­duc­ing The Curator’s Code: A Stan­dard for Hon­or­ing Attri­bu­tion of Dis­cov­ery Across the Web

The Day the World Took Off. Cam­bridge Doc­u­men­tary on the Ori­gins of the Indus­tri­al Rev­o­lu­tion

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