Two reports now speak of a reverse brain drain, where individuals who came to the U.S., earned their degrees, and commenced their careers are now leaving to return to their countries of origin.
On May 1st, the Christian Science Monitor reported that China was wooing some of their best expatriate scientists back to China with relocation allowances of $146,000 and salaries reported to be as high as $250,000 a year. (To read the story, click here.)
Yesterday, NPR reported that a similar reverse brain drain is occurring with individuals returning to India. NPR reports that a survey of recent returnees found that they were typically in their 30's, married, and have either a master's degree or a Ph.D.
Although these reverse migrations do not currently pose a threat to the U.S. dominance in the sciences, it would be well to consider several other factors.
- Although the current reverse brain drain may not currently significantly impact U.S. dominance in the sciences, it may significantly help the countries to which the scientists are returning.
- In returning to their countries of origin, what perceptions and attitudes are they taking back with them regarding the U.S., its culture, its religions, etc. If these perceptions are favorable, it is possible that they may to some measure favorably affect the attitudes of others in their countries of origin toward the U.S.
- Finally, although the reverse brain drain may not currently significantly impact U.S. dominance in the sciences, we cannot take that leadership for granted.
- TwoMinuteBriefing thanks DW for recommending this story.