Much has been written about superconductivity in the past 18 months. Some of it is technical, and usually it is accurate. Some of it promises applications on time scales that I find difficult to believe. But in a good fraction of this writing the technological challenge posed by the discovery of the new high‐temperature superconductors is used to justify sweeping generalizations about US research, development and manufacturing capabilities. The theme underlying this sort of writing is that “superconductivity is our last chance to prove our technological prowess,” or, more simply, “we will lose out to Japan—again.” It is this aspect of the superconductivity news that I will discuss. I find that there is some underlying cause for concern but that many positive aspects of US commercialization of conventional, low‐temperature superconductors are being ignored. Furthermore, suggestions that US industry is not contributing at the forefront of research in high‐superconductivity are demonstrably incorrect.
Will the US eventually lose the race to commercialize superconductivity? Or is the race already lost? Here is one person's perspective on the worldwide competition in high‐ superconductivity.