National Science Board Releases 2022 Science and Engineering Indicators
National Science Board Releases 2022 Science and Engineering Indicators

January 2022

On January 20, the National Science Board (NSB) published the 2022 Science and Engineering Indicators, including reports and data on the state of science and engineering in the United States and how the nation compares to other countries. NSB chair Ellen Ochoa and NSB member Julia Phillips presented the data and a summary of key findings in a virtual briefing on January 20.

Ochoa described some of the data highlighting the United States as a strong leader in scientific research and the nation’s central role as an educator and collaborator. At the same time, other countries are increasing investments in research, with China now the second highest country in research spending. China produced the most scientific articles in 2020, but articles from the United States remain the most highly cited.

Phillips detailed findings of an NSB policy brief, The U.S. is a Keystone of Global Science and Engineering. The brief highlights recommendations in five areas to meet the goals of the NSB Vision 2030: domestic STEM talent, international STEM talent, critical and emerging technologies, basic research, and collaboration. Phillips emphasized the need to focus on K–12 STEM education, highlighting data from the Programme for International Student Assessment noting U.S. performance in science compared to other countries, as well as National Assessment of Educational Progress results detailing gaps in math scores by ethnicity and income. Phillips described the need for increased investment in K–12 and higher education to reduce barriers to participation in STEM.

Phillips also discussed data on funding for research and development by the federal government and non-federal sources. Although R&D expenditures by non-federal sources increased, federal funding for basic research increased by $3 billion in real dollars from 2010 to 2019. Phillips highlighted the important role of the federal government in supporting basic research, noting the need for robust investment.

The Science and Engineering Indicators are compiled by the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics within the National Science Foundation. Detailed data, topical reports, and state fact sheets are available on the NCSES website.