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How healthy is U.S. basic research, and how can research improve the country's position in the global marketplace? Such questions were explored at a hearing held on June 20 by the House Science Committtee's subcommittee on science. Much of the outside witnesses' testimony called for better links between government, industry, and universities to improve the research enterprise.

Erich Bloch, former director of the National Science Foundation and currently a Council on Competitiveness fellow, testified that the United States is slipping as a technological leader not because it lags in science and basic research, but because “we are trailing badly in our ability to translate basic research results and insights into commercial products.”