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The real motivation of science August 24, 2006

Posted by pauloh81 in Uncategorized.

Some days ago this news about a Russian mathematician got my attention in Slashdot. He solved one of the most difficult problems in mathematics, first established by H. Poincare.
I read the article thinking that the main subject was the demonstration. I was surprised to discover that the main point of the article was to discuss why the “Russian genius” could not want to receive US$ 1 million as prize and maybe he would not accept the Fields Medal (equivalent to the Nobel prize in mathematics). What is wrong about that? Why people cannot understand someone can get pleasure and satisfaction without thinking on money or being famous?

I am sure he got more excitement and satisfaction by solving the problem than by being millionaire. Of course, that is very difficult to accept in this materialist and competitive world.
That article made me think about the real motivation of researchers and scientists around the world. Are we trying to solve problems and to create new technology to make a better world?, or we just want making money and publishing “important” papers to be famous?


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