Scientific and technological personnel belonging to the country's most important strategic resource, and it is the main driving force for social and economic development, so its size and quality are important indicators to measure a country's comprehensive national strength and development potential. The migration of the technology professionals will inevitably affect the national ownership of scientific and technological personnel, and it is bound to have a direct impact on the country's comprehensive national strength, thus it is one of the estimates to judge the development and change of the country’s strength.
The international migration of the technology professionals can be traced back to the Industrial Revolution or the earlier period. After the beginning of the 20th century, especially after the Second World War, with the expansion of economic globalization, the transnational flow of scientific and technological personnel appeared to accelerate.
Britain is the old capitalist country which first completed the industrial revolution, so the development and flow of its technology professionals is the most typical. With the completion of the Industrial Revolution, the economic strength of the United Kingdom is the largest in the world, and a large number of scientific and technological personnel emerged. However, technology professionals in the United Kingdom started migrating to North America and other regions since the Industrial Revolution, and after World War II, the migration to the United States and other places has been on a larger scale, thus a “brain drain” situation appeared. The occurrence of this phenomenon is closely related to the British economic strength changes, and also related to its long-term investment in science and technology, higher education and immigration policies. The British government has taken a series of reform measures, but these measures are not strong strategic, and they failed to prevent the outflow of the talents. However, the British government was pleased that these measures has attracted lots of technological talents from Asia, continental Europe and Africa, and it has become an important human resources receiving countries besides the United States.
In the 19th century, America became a new capitalist country, but also the well-known big country of immigrants. Since the 20th century, the proportion of the technology professionals immigrants has been growing bigger and bigger in the United States, many of them from the United Kingdom. To some degree, the achievements of these foreign technology professionals have enhanced military and economic advantage of America in two world wars. However, after World War II, the scientific and technological advantages of the United States have challenged by other countries of the world. Driven by a sense of urgency, the U.S. government has adopted a series of policies to attract technology talents, and provide a variety of favorable treatment and environment for the development of scientific and technological personnel. A large number of technological talents rush into the United States, so that its think tank continues to be strengthened, and that further promote the development in the field of science and technology and economic.
The United Kingdom and the United States are two new and old capitalist countries, and they are in stark contrast on the issue of the flow of talents, which is mainly caused by the differences of the two countries' economic strength changes and higher education, science and technology investment and immigration policies. In the 20th century, especially after World War II, the apparent decline of British economic strength and rapid increases in U.S. economic strength is the root cause of the British brain drain to the United States. After World War II, Britain introduced a number of measures, but lack of strategic, and there are a variety of issues in the implementation. The continuity of the U.S. strategy in this regard was significantly higher than the UK, which is an important reason of the British brain drain.
It appeared the rise and fall of the scientific and technological talents issue in Britain and America after World War II, this replacement is proportional to the rise and fall of their national strength. Great-power status of talents in Britain challenged by the United States in the early 20th century, and eventually replaced by USA in the mid-20th century. The continued outflow of the British talents is a challenge for the recovery and maintaining of the UK's great power status, and the steady inflow of U.S. technological talents further promotes its development of science and technology and economic. The flow of talents and technological development policies and strategies directly affect the evolution of the British and American political, economic and international status.
Keywords: United Kingdom; scientific and technological personnel; brain drain; United States; personnel policy