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Nobel prize winners in science and scientific literacy

  1. Mar 24, 2009 #1
    I find it funny when various pundits and news reporters in the media constantly complained that the United states is falling behind in new developments in science and technology , and which to a certain extent, there is some validity to this claim , observing that the scientific literacy in the public is abysmal compared to the scientific literacy of the general population in other countries and the higher number of grad students in scientific fields are mostly foreign students . We are constantly told that China and various other countries have surpassed in being innovators in science and technology. Yet , despite the bad scientific literacy in the US and despite the poor quality of science education in this country, and despite the disproportionate number americans who do not choose science as a career choice compared to the higher percentage of people who choose careers in science in other countries like France ,China and India, we still manage to beat the odds and produced the highest number of nobel Prize winners in science in this country! China has the largest population of people on the planet, yet has only produced THREE nobel prize winners in science and we are constantly told to emulate the Chinese and they had a nobel prize winner in science like almost every 50 years and the US has had at least one nobel prize winner in science every year.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 24, 2009 #2
    An article about higher education in China.


    Interesting,.. but written by a Phd Chinese student and some more. Looks good enough.
  4. Mar 24, 2009 #3
    Obtaining a Nobel prize is not the achievement of a single individual. A Nobel prize in physics is a political decision to award a leading role in the collaboration of many individuals. You may want to pay a visit to your national labs and contemplate the fraction of people having received american education. I'd be interested if someone has a link to a comprehensive statistical study of nationalities in american national labs. I'd also be interested to see statistics about the evolution of nationalities in major schools (like say, MIT) during recent years. I see more and more chinese students coming out of there.
  5. Mar 24, 2009 #4
    I think China already has more honor students than the number of students (all together) in the US
  6. Mar 24, 2009 #5
    I don't understand how this is proof of our scientific capabilities over anyone else. I'd take a country that hasn't won any Nobel prizes, but has 1,000,000 brilliant scientists and engineers over a country who has 100 Nobel prizes and 10,000 brilliant scientists and engineers any day.
  7. Mar 24, 2009 #6
    I think few of the things missing in here are artifacts, resources, and environment. What 10,000 engineers/scientists going to do if they don't have required elements to perform researches and know that those are available in some other country ...
  8. Mar 24, 2009 #7
    First of all, most nobel prizes in physics are awarded many years or even decades after the discovery was originally made, so all of the prizes that have been awarded to date have all been to scientists born in the space-race generation or before.

    We have not yet suffered the reprocussions of the US failure in math and science education, since that failure only began in the 1970s.

    Also, think of the fact language barrier between eastern and western scientists, because of this barrier it is no surprise that a western prize is most usually awarded to western scientists.
  9. Mar 24, 2009 #8
    yes , the number of nobel prize winners a country has does not represent the number of brilliant scientists a nation produces or represents the scientific literacy of the nation's general population, but the number of nobel prize winners in science in the US certainly tells us that we are NOT lagging behind in new developments in science and technology and we are CERTAINLY not lagging behind in education(higher education anyway) if top students from around the country want to attend the so called most prestigious technical universities in the country
  10. Mar 24, 2009 #9

    Do you not encounter a massive array of sheer apathy pretty much everywhere you go? In the public school system (at least in washington) only about 1 in 20 kids has the slightest concern for an education let alone one science related. So many people just don't seem to want to learn.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2009
  11. Mar 24, 2009 #10
    I am aware. I already said that the scientific literacy in this country is bad. Thats why I think public schools in general are a bad investment for taxpayers. It is just a waste to invest millions of dollars when the teachers fail to do there jobs properly when students are not interested in the material being taught.Did you know teachers in Chicago schools start off making like $ 50,000 and the drop rate is very high in chicago school systems. IMO, students are just better off dropping out of school and becoming autodidacts.
  12. Mar 24, 2009 #11
    drug dealers, thieves, gangsters, prisoners, ...
    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/273893/the_role_literacy_plays_in_crime.html [Broken]

    Chinese, Indian, or French students are no more interested in academics than American students ...
    (See that Jewish everywhere thread ..)
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  13. Mar 24, 2009 #12

    Nietschze , Ben Franklin, Lebniz, Thomas edison, Michael Faraday, Socrates, Thomas Paine, theAmazingAthiest(from youtube) and a myraid of other famous names never had a formal education. Just because you dropped out of school does not automatically mean you will lead a life of crime.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  14. Mar 24, 2009 #13
    How PF enjoys public display of racism...
  15. Mar 24, 2009 #14
    Yes, you got a good reason to be terrified of Chinese people :rofl:
    http://christwire.org/2009/02/i-am-extremely-terrified-of-chinese-people/ [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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