Scientific talent has a long history of migrating from one country to another in search of like-minded collaborators, better financial and institutional support, and public acceptance for their work.
While a rising Asia—namely India, South Korea, and especially China—is gaining traction as an emerging research power, the United States still leads the world in measures of scientific impact by a substantial margin. This is partly due to America also remaining by far the leading destination for research scientists emigrating from other countries. This tilt is especially evident in Asia. More than 50 percent of all foreign PhD graduates in the U.S. come from three countries—China, India, and South Korea—and more than 80 percent of the STEM professors at the prestigious Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) obtained their PhDs in the U.S. This deep symbiotic relationship between scholarly talent on both sides of the Pacific has existed for more than 20 years, and serves to connect the U.S. to the world’s most dynamic R&D and economic region.
It's weasel-worded, of course, but the point is clear: free markets and free countries inspire and support scientific research, which is why they remain so attractive:
Countries that lay out the welcome mat for foreign research talent and allow their own researchers to go abroad freely do better than closed research economies in every sense. Science is a global enterprise and free brain migration should be encouraged by all nations.
Right. And when brains are allowed to migrate, they migrate here.