Reports indicate that the US is losing its dominance in science
. It's clear this is happening for a number of reasons. First of all, nobody ever stays the best forever, so the rest of the world had to catch up. This doesn't mean, however, that certain factors haven't helped speed this reversal. Scientists used to come to the US in droves from across the world, for the best facilities, higher pay, and a better life. These days, the few who can get in suffer from lack of health care, crappy benefits, and funding cuts. Why not go to, say, Germany, where there's universal healthcare and pensions? Or stay in China where they can be offered government kickbacks? Or stay in India and be part of its development into a scientific super-power? The US is just less attractive than it used to be.
Then there's the Bush administration's War on Science
. US scientific prestige has, according to that article, taken a real plunge in the 2000's (i.e., the Bush administration). Correlation does not equal causation, of course, but sometimes things make you go 'hmmm.'
[EDIT 12:05 PM]
Even more on this BushCo problem here
, in a thoughtful Scientific American editorial. I hope lots and lots of people read it.