Science: Red Troubles

Launched on Oct. 4, 1957, Russia's Sputnik 1 triggered a storm of criticism for U.S. education, which was accused of turning out used-car dealers and basketball players instead of scientists. Indeed. Soviet scientific education was even touted as a model that the U.S. should try to follow. Last week that attitude looked pretty silly: few U.S. experts now believe that the Russians are far ahead in science education—and the Soviets themselves have begun to look sourly at their own system.

In a recent issue of Soviet Weekly, Academician Mikhail Lavrentyev, vice president of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, berated Soviet schools...

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