Will the Nobel Prize winners speak at the forum－does it matter?
IN THE PAST MONTHS, dozens of Nobel Prize winners in economics, medical science, physics and chemistry have attended forums and conferences in China at the invitation of companies, media and local governments. Science and Technology Daily comments:
Most of the activities are commercial not academic, but nonetheless these Nobel laureates are willing to accept these invitations, not least because they are paid rather well to do so.
On their part, the organizers think these Nobel Prize winners bring them prestige. Even if some of the laureate attendees do not make a speech, their presence is believed to be enough to lift the level of the events they attend, which reflects well on the local governments and sponsors.
For instance, Cuigezhuang township government of Chaoyang district, Beijing, invited six Nobel Prize winners to attend a forum it hosted to promote industrialization of new research findings on Aug 10. Most of the media reports on the forum have focused on the presence of so many big names at the same time, rather than the actual content of the forum.
On Aug 12, a forum on innovation co-hosted by a capital company and Caijing magazine in Beijing invited 20 Nobel Prize winners. The laureates in totally different areas were organized in round-table dialogues. It is hard to imagine a conversation between a gravitational wave researcher and a macro-economy expert, and many listeners could not follow the track of their jumps in thinking through the simultaneous translation.
Even so, this is still a multi-win scenario, as the audience gets to see these Noble laureates in person, the activities catch people's attention and the Nobel Prize winners get handsomely paid, leaving only science as a puppet from beginning to the end.