Education: Defecting to the West

Britain's loss of bright young academics is America's gain

Surely they are among Britain's best and brightest:

Birgitta Whaley, 30, earned her undergraduate degree in theoretical chemistry at Oxford University. She wanted to be a college teacher, but the only homegrown opportunities were junior research fellowships that she describes as "glorified post-docs." In February she started teaching at the University of California, Berkeley.

Wilfrid Nixon, 26, a Cambridge Ph.D. in engineering, is a research assistant professor at Dartmouth's Thayer School of Engineering. Says Nixon: "I was looking for opportunities in England, but essentially there was nothing doing."

John Dupre, 33, an Oxford philosophy graduate teaching at Stanford, remembers one year...

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