Oh, we've not stopped...
We seem to be going in reverse as far as education in nearly all the sciences. Every country in the EU, the folks in the US and nearly everyone else has cut back or dropped science and engineering programs from their university schedules due to lack of enrollment or lack of funding, while the number of students enrolled in MBA programs and the like keeps rising. It seems also that The West has shipped many of it's "thinking" jobs elsewhere so as to cut costs and dodge taxes.
Everyone wants to be an investment banker or stockbroker, making money off other people money. (Which isn't even real money, witnessing the number of countries going bankrupt over the past half-dozen years, the money is handed out per a bunch of imaginary numbers on brokerage house spreadsheets.) And if a project can't show a profit within its first quarter, what good is it? The science gathered from space and defense programs of decades ago are just now reaping benefits. Things like research take time, sometime lots of time, to get from lab to prototype, then from prototype to production. Everyone want's to make money NOW rather than waiting decades for assets to mature and dividends become available.
It's as if no one really cares any longer, and many just want the government or corporations to handle things, as - you all know - they have only our best interests at heart.
Yea, I think I'll have that second pint (of vodka) now... while I watch the news out of China for The Next New Thing.