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Rewards of discovery

  1. Apr 6, 2012 #1
    Case: two chemists from 3M discovered a low tack adhesive, and made it into a product we now know as post-its.

    Now imagine how many post-its are sold daily around the world.

    Those two scientists never got any special treatment besides their scientist salary.

    Does this bother you at all?

    Do you think scientists are getting their fair share of the pie? Should they just be content to have built a better world, while the employers-owners reap most of the profits? Just looking for thoughts.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 6, 2012 #2


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    Do you think those guys came up with the idea in a vacuum of creativity, alone, with their own equipment, materials, computers, assistants, their own manufacturing, marketing, testing, and a million other things that a world-class company needs to make world-class products?

    For those who think all the glory should go to the one creative, y'all are welcome to go into the entrepreneur business and see how that works for you.

    Consider: they're employees. The other 364 days of the year they didn't invent anything they still got a paycheque.

  4. Apr 6, 2012 #3


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    I think they did benefit from it, but I don't think their compensation is discussed publicly.

    They are considered heros at 3M - http://www.post-it.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/Post_It/Global/About/History/

    I do know some corporate scientists and engineers who do get award and bonuses for inventions. I suspect that the compensation is relatively small compared to the value to the company. In most cases however, the inventors use substantial corporate resources that enable them to invent.
  5. Apr 7, 2012 #4

    Ivan Seeking

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    3M funded the product development and marketing. That risk is primarily what justifies the benefits. The scientists involved had nothing at risk so they deserve minimal rewards.
  6. Apr 7, 2012 #5

    jim hardy

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    Machiavelli advised that a wise prince should take care of those who enrich his kingdom.
    I suspect the guys got , as somebody suggested, a small bonus and some recognition.
    Most folks in my circles would be happy with the "atta-boys" from their peers.
    But, as we always said, "Atto is a prefix meaning 10^-18. That's why one 'Aww - Shucks ' wipes out all your attoboys. "

    old jim
  7. Apr 7, 2012 #6
    Some companies have the policy to reward excellence openly and abundantly, encouraging other employees to be excellently creative too.
  8. Apr 7, 2012 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    Who, and how much compensation?
  9. Apr 7, 2012 #8
    Oh, I got a couple of grands for developing a selection decision support system for student pilots, just as hobby.
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