Skip to Content

Give Us Your Brilliant…

The TR35 points to the globalization of talent.
October 1, 2005

A reader poring over the profiles of this year’s TR35, Technology Review’s annual pick of the world’s top innovators under the age of 35, might be forgiven for humming a few bars of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” We pushed hard for nominations from all over the world, but in the end, the best judgment of the editors and our team of esteemed judges produced a list of 35 people that includes 33 working at U.S. companies or universities. But this seeming American hegemony is illusory. Well over a third of this year’s TR35 are originally from other countries, including China, India, and Singapore.

A pattern emerges from the dossiers of these extraordinary people: a brilliant young scientist or engineer receives a degree in his or her native country and then emigrates to take advantage of the superior graduate schools and richer entrepreneurial opportunities in the United States. But that situation will not necessarily persist. In its latest survey, the Council of Graduate Schools – a Washington, DC-based consortium of more than 450 institutions – reports that in 2005, international graduate applications to U.S. schools are down 5 percent from the previous year, with a particular drop-off in students from China (down 13 percent) and India (down 9 percent). This follows similar declines in recent years.

The reasons behind these numbers are not totally clear. But surely one factor is that the growing economies of China and India are increasingly providing ample opportunities, both in academia and business, for those who stay home.

In the long run, this inevitable outcome of globalization might spur more innovation worldwide. But it is not good news for the United States. As this year’s TR35 remind us, the United States’ ability to draw extraordinary talent from around the world feeds a rich climate of innovation and scientific advancement that everyone in this country benefits from.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

VR is as good as psychedelics at helping people reach transcendence

On key metrics, a VR experience elicited a response indistinguishable from subjects who took medium doses of LSD or magic mushrooms.

This nanoparticle could be the key to a universal covid vaccine

Ending the covid pandemic might well require a vaccine that protects against any new strains. Researchers may have found a strategy that will work.

How do strong muscles keep your brain healthy?

There’s a robust molecular language being spoken between your muscles and your brain.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.