Sunday, May 15, 2016

What does it cost to recognize young talent in science and technology?

Science Talent Search (STS) in the US has been sponsored by Westinghouse from 1942 till Intel took over the responsibility in 1998. The organizing agency is the Society for Science. Visit
Between 1942 and now, STS has recognized 3000 finalists, given away $13 Million in scholarships. Not surprisingly, twelve of the awardees went on to earn Nobel Prizes and two earned the prestigious Fields Medal in mathematics.
The question is whether countries like China and India should not set up such systems to identify and encourage young talent. Of course, they do have science fairs, science talent searches, etc. The question to be asked is if what they have is adequate.
Intel will serve as the exclusive sponsor for the Intel STS through 2017; what exactly will happen after that we have to see.
I do think that programs like the STS offer a great way to spend Corporate Social Responsibility funds. Big companies can run such programs, maintaining the highest standards, serving a great purpose. Funds available will decide the scale on which the program can be run; but, scale is not the most important factor. Respect for young talent and quality of program management will be the factors deciding the outcome.

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