Not so good a measure, most argue.
They’re right, of course. One need only look at the awards of Nobels in the past to people from nations where the education systems were not up to snuff to understand how wildly inaccurate such predictions can be.
Seed Magazine’s on-line version actually has an article discussing the issue: “Precious Medals.” The article concludes most rationally that the U.S.’s success at winning science Nobel Prizes does not in any way, shape or form indicate that we do NOT have a crisis in science education in the nation right now. That’s good to remember.
By the way: Was Theodore Roosevelt the only man ever to win both the Congressional Medal of Honor, and a Nobel Prize? (He won the Congressional Medal for the “charge up San Juan Hill” in the Spanish-American War of 1898; he won the Nobel Prize for Peace for working out the treaty that ended the war between Japan and Russia, during his presidency (1901-1909)).