250 Word Flashpoints:
Here’s something I find baffling and possibly troubling.
It’s laudable to make university education available to all, without extortionate fees. Does this have to be at the expense of international cutting edge excellence, though?
Germany and France are populous countries with globally influential advanced economies; but there’s a sense both punch below their weight in terms of world-leading innovation. Too many of the best (genius, virtuoso) continental scientists end up bought by private capital or poached into US/UK universities.
Think of the big inventions and capitalization IP this past century:
- computers (1936–46 UK/US)
- smartphone (1973 USA, 1999 Japan)
- television (1920s US, UK, Russia)
- microwave cavity magnetron (1940 UK)
- radar (1920s UK, US; years earlier Germany rejected its home-grown prototype)
- video games (1960s USA)
- world wide web (1980s UK)
- internet tcpip (1973 USA 1975 US/UK)
- Unix (USA 1960s plus Canada/Australia 1970s)
- DNA (1950s UK plus US)
- jet engine (1930s UK/Germany)
- nuclear fission (USA 1930s)
- vacuum cleaner (UK/US), LEDs (1962 USA)
- mRNA vaccine (1990s USA)
- penicillin (1928 UK)
- cryptocurrency/blockchain (1983 USA)
- digital camera (1960s USA)
- hydrogen cells (1930s UK then 1950s US)
- solar power (1950s USA)
Where’s all the continental European hustle for innovation? Where’s all the world-changing innovative output from the supposedly superb Scandinavian education systems?