A few weeks ago, the in-laws were in town. It was good to see family and was good for The Wife and my daughter to see their extended family, too.
During a discussion with my father-in-law, it came up that I have very few natural born citizen friends that I have met at the Lab. An off-the-cuff analysis:
- I have to take three steps up the chain-of-command before I reach a superior who is a natural born citizen of the United States..
- Of the postdocs in our group, natural born citizens are in a minority.
- Of the people that my wife and I consistently hang out with, zero are citizens. All are either employees of the lab or spouses of employees.
- A clear, though not rigid, trend forms when examining age of scientists here along with nationality: most of the natural born U.S. citizens are of the cold war era; the US-born scientist is an aging generation.
Why is this? We kicked around several ideas during our conversation, ranging from the overall quality of the education system in our country to the attitude towards science and math in mainstream culture. We were just speculating; it was a rather grim endeavor.
One of my pet theories is the demonizing of the educated populous by those who glorify ignorance. See Exhibit A. When did stupidity become a source of pride?