The rise of the United States in the 20th century to a position of preeminence among nations can be attributed to a number of factors, not the least of which has been a climate favorable to scientific investigation and publication. Science in America has been generously funded throughout most of this century both by government and industry, and the scientific community has been viewed with respect and admiration. Consequently, the center of scientific research and development shifted from Europe to America. Notable examples of this move can be found in the fields of medicine, chemistry, and physics; the number of Nobel Prizes awarded to scientists resident in the United States testifies to America's scientific leadership.
Unhappily, respect for scientific achievement appears to be waning in this country, and there are signs of antielitism in government agencies, indifference to science in the executive branch of government, and hostility among some members