While American Culture Elites were busy in Hollywood bashing our electoral process, Chinese leaders were attending a ceremony honoring top scientists on Sunday. There were two winners at China's annual event this year. Tu Youyou; a medical specialist discovered a new and more effective cure for Malaria. Zhao Zhongxian, one of China's top physicists, was honored for his discoveries in superconductivity and its relation to energy conservation.
Chinese President Xi Jinping personally awarded the two scientists, which included a cash prize of nearly three-quarter of a million US dollars to each winner. 3,300 political, military, and social figures were in attendance, according to Xinhua News.
Xi noted that China has seen momentous scientific gains during the past year, especially in space exploration, deep-sea research, and communications technologies. He urged all scientists to follow the example of the prize winners and turn their talents towards the benefit of China. Premier Li Keiquiang promised that the Party would expand resources for scientific development in 2017.
"Scientists taking the lead in innovation are entitled to more power to do their jobs," Li stated, "Distribution policies must be better implemented to honor and reward innovators. China is willing to offer opportunities for talented individuals at home or from abroad to fulfill their ambitions in China."
What does this story illustrate for us? Well, we note three things about Chinese scientists that differ from their American counterparts:
1. Top achievers get national recognition from the highest levels of government;
2. Scientists are well-paid for their efforts;
3. The media holds them up as national heroes and celebrities.
These could be among several reasons why China has been crushing the US in technology for the last several years. China is a society where scientists are rewarded and recognized as part of the Cultural Elite; instead of bloviating Hollywood imbeciles like we reward and revere in this country.
Forbes Magazine reported in 2013 that American scientists are so poorly funded that 20% have applied for work in other countries. A majority of immigrant scientists who study here also return to their home countries, where they are better compensated. According to a survey conducted by that magazine, 46% of scientific institutions have laid off assistant researchers; and the unemployment rate in the science field is high. And a number of them are going to China.
This should be unsurprising given the corruption and incompetence of the American educational system. Americans today are among the most scientifically ignorant people alive. For example, a 2014 National Science Foundation survey discovered that 25% of Americans do not know that the Earth revolves around the Sun. It took only one generation from winning the Space Race to becoming the world leader in Transgender Toilets. Nothing sums up the state of American Academia more clearly than that.
Meanwhile, China marches on. While American scientists jockey for research grants---or end up in the unemployment line---Chinese scientists enjoy wealth, national respect, and job satisfaction. And that's worth a lot more in the long run than a Golden Globe speech.