Feeds

True fact: Britain is losing its brains

C'mon, how many inventors does Hawaii really NEED?

Top three mobile application threats

Britain has a brain drain problem: it's one of the two countries whose inventors are keenest to leave home, according to a study for WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organisation.

The UK and Germany both have a net loss of inventors - despite benefiting from significant immigration of inventor talent from other countries.

WIPO defines an emigration rate as the share of the country's native population living abroad relative to the country's total native population. The emigration of skilled people, or the "brain drain" rate - is calculated as the number of degree-level educated nationals living abroad over the degree-level educated nationals who live in their home country.

It also examined patent databases over two decades to produce the figures. While patents aren't a perfect measure of brainpower, you have to start somewhere to produce any kind of measurement, and it's a useful proxy for the international movement of scientists and engineers.

UK inventors leaving the country constituted 8.15 per cent of the country's total emigration between 2001 and 2010. Only Germany (9.45) India (11.78) and China (15.75) fared worse in keeping their inventors at home. The UK was actually worst off of all during 1991 to 2000, with 13.11 per cent of its emigration comprising inventors.

WIPO is interested because of the negative effect on emerging countries of seeing their cleverest people emigrate. Africa and the Caribbean suffer the worst, with skilled scientific and technical graduates seeking more lucrative work in more mature economies.

As WIPO notes, "the exit of skilled workers directly reduces an economy’s human capital endowment".

But the study also has implications for education policy here in the West. Why educate people in science and technology if other countries are going to reap the reward? We may as well train up more jugglers, bell-ringers, or barristas.

You can download the report in various languages from WIPO here, where you can read it alongside a double skinny venti nonfat organic mocha, double-blended. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
R.I.P. LADEE: Probe smashes into lunar surface at 3,600mph
Swan dive signs off successful science mission
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.