View Full Version : issue61 High-profile awards such as the Nobel Prize are actually damaging to society

09-01-2006, 12:32 PM
Do the high-profile awards such as Noble Prize serve to damage the society because they suggest that merely a few people deserve such recognition, just as the speaker asserts? I fundamentally disagree with the point. Admittedly, they bring about some undesirable effects occasionally. In my view, however, such awards have benefits both to the winners themselves and to the society most of the time.
As for the winners themselves, awards are important not only to their work but also to their spirits or rather, morale, which in return, continues to benefit the society. Consider, for example, the research in basic academic fields. Researchers in these fields may be poor because they devote most of their time to their study, leaving little to care about even their basic living conditions. Awards can be helpful to them at this point. Moreover, they think they are respected with their work being appreciated by the public. A notable example about a mathematician in Russia serves to illustrate the point. Before getting the award, he had to depend on his mother for living and nearly gave up his research. However, when he was awarded, he had enough money for living improvement and decided to further it, which, in fact, will contribute to the society.
When it comes to the society, awarding the prominent individuals contribute to its well-being in several respects. Firstly, by awarding its eminent persons, it demonstrates that it values them greatly, which may leads to more people to devote themselves to their work, which may seem unimportant because they are not the interest of the public. In addition, the results from the people who have been awarded can directly contribute to the society. Consider, for instance, the Noble Prize for chemistry was given to three scientists who had made great contribution to the research on plastic conductor. Using the kind of conductor, people are able to enhance the efficiency of electricity consuming by about fifty percent. What's more, the weight is significantly less than the traditional ones.
Admittedly, high-profile awards may bring with it some troubles. In some society, the government funds only those people whose research is more likely to gain short term success, which has resulted in the unbalance of different academic fields. For example, it provides funding to physical science, but not to social science. What's worse, some researchers are indulging in the awards of them without respect to the actual research and even make false results. Professor Hung in the North Korea is to the point。
All in all, high-profile awards can benefit the winners and the society as a whole. Yet, they really have some demerits sometimes. Then the responsibility of the very society is to avoid such demerits and take advantage of the awarding to lead its people to the merits that have been discussed above.