Avoid Being Second Best

Technology proliferation, the growing number of foreign graduates in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields, and significant US budget deficits are key drivers that will influence future science and technology activities in the United States, said Mica Endsley, the Air Force’s new chief scientist on Thursday. “What it means is we are not going to necessarily enjoy some of the predominance that we have had in the past,” she said during an AFA-Air Force Breakfast Program talk in Arlington, Va., on July 11. Endsley highlighted some of the trends identified in the Air Force’s newly released Global Horizons study that examined how the service can sustain and enhance its core functions in air, space, and cyberspace. In the air domain, she mentioned increased development of remotely piloted aircraft worldwide. In space, she discussed increasing congestion and competitiveness; in cyberspace, she warned there could be as many as 200 million malware attacks per year by 2025. Further, by 2023, 70% of advanced aircraft will be fifth generation models, said Endsley. “You don’t want to end up being second best in the technology game,” she said.