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Let’s Commit to Invest in Science

To the Editor:

Re “Silicon Valley Needs the Government” (Op-Ed, Feb. 28):

Eric Schmidt, the former chairman and C.E.O. of Google, rightly warns that the United States is no longer the uncontested leader in science and technology — strengths that competitor countries like China are methodically bolstering to meet economic and other strategic objectives.

As he asserts, it’s time for our government to step up with an innovation-fueling strategy of our own. Mr. Schmidt has his finger on the pulse of public sentiment in this regard.

We know from our recently commissioned public opinion survey that a majority of Americans — across party lines — support investing in research for job creation, economic growth and global competitiveness. We know that they “get” the value of government-financed noncommercial research and private-sector research and development alike. What are we waiting for?

Let’s double our commitment to all federal science agencies over five years and design policies that will support the public-private partnerships Mr. Schmidt calls for. We can’t afford not to.

Mary Woolley
Arlington, Va.
The writer is president and chief executive of Research!America.