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NSF rolls out huge makeover of science statistics

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Science  24 Jan 2020:
Vol. 367, Issue 6476, pp. 352-353
DOI: 10.1126/science.367.6476.352

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The National Science Foundation (NSF) has made its beloved Science and Engineering Indicators more timely and nimble. The 2020 version of Indicators, which officially came out last week, still offers 2000-plus pages of data covering international trends in science education, the demographics of the technical workforce, funding patterns, the nature of the industrial and academic research, and public attitudes toward science. But NSF now treats the report's eight chapters as separate products, and it has compressed the time needed to spit out its analysis of the constantly changing scientific landscape. The first chapter, on precollege math and science education, appeared online in fall of 2019, for example, and the final chapter, on public attitudes, will include the latest polling results when it comes out this spring. Last week's release of a brief summary was intended to satisfy a federal mandate for a biennial report to Congress.

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