Tuesday, February 7, 2023

The next Einstein will be African

Nature reports:
Mathematics has the potential to be a great equalizer. Compared with other scientific and technical fields, it requires few expensive physical resources. Sometimes, a whiteboard and a marker are all that’s needed.

However, maths is one of the least diverse of the STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. For instance, the Survey of Earned Doctorates conducted by the US National Science Foundation) showed that, of all 1,915 doctorates awarded in mathematics and statistics in the United States in 2021, none went to people identifying as American Indian or Alaska Native. Just 28 (1.5%) were awarded to Black or African American mathematicians or statisticians, and 33 (1.7%) to researchers who identify as belonging to more than one race.

Maths is built on a modern history of elevating the achievements of one group of people: white men. “Theorems or techniques have names associated to them and most of the time, those names are of nineteenth-century French or German men,” such as Georg Cantor, Henri PoincarĂ© and Carl Friedrich Gauss, all of whom were white, says John Parker, head of the mathematical sciences department at Durham University, UK. This means that the accomplishments of people of other genders and races have often been pushed aside, preventing maths from being a level playing field. ...

Mathematicians leading decolonization efforts say that building knowledge-sharing partnerships with communities is key. ...

The institute is a system of five centres of excellence in Cameroon, Ghana, Senegal, South Africa and Rwanda that are designed to deliver the next generation of leading mathematical thinkers on the continent. AIMS’s five centres award fully funded master’s degrees and doctorates, preparing students for jobs in academia and in industry. AIMS is built around the motto “We believe the next Einstein will be African”.

Einstein was not a mathematician.

This is just embarrassing.


  1. Dear Roger,

    You mean to say that your own American Etc. "Science" *is* any better? Better than even "Nature"?

    I would like to know. I've a paper to publish.


  2. Yes, American science is better than African science. The journal Nature has gone downhill.

  3. Dear Roger,

    This time around, I'm determined to take screenshots, so that any comments you yourself make and later delete, also form a part of the Received Opinion.

    What made you think that I was talking about "American science", and not your American "Science" journal?

    Anything within reason?

    [PS: BTW, thanks for publishing [at least] my comments immediately.]

  4. The British journal Nature and the American journal Scientific American are owned by the same company. I have posted criticisms of all these once-great journals.

    1. Dear Roger,

      Thanks for sharing your perspective.

      I agree that Scientific American is no longer what it used to be. But it's a pop-sci. mag; it's not meant for original research.

      But I am not so sure about Nature.

      And, even earlier, like all media, I remember thinking how even SciAm seems to be going under the sway of fashion, fads, faith, and fantasy. But yes, it certainly was better than what it is now.

      Science is an American journal. My experience with Americans has been mixed, to say the least. I wish it could have been better. Then, it would've been easier to respond more easily i.e. naturally.

      I have almost no experience with the Germans or the British. Certainly, never have spent any time in those countries (save for brief stopovers at Frankfurt am main, and Heathrow, and all that, more than two decades ago. Even the airport building at Frankfurt has changed now, I recently gathered. (It was the first foreign country where I had landed.))

      As an unsupported, poor, but independent and original researcher from India [*], I can only hope that whichever journal it is to which I send my papers first (and there will be more than one paper), the treatment I receive is in line with what I did from the fellow researchers and academics at iMechanica, but with the additional proviso of the usual stringent standards for peer review for original research too. (iMech is just a discussion forum.)

      I also notice this:

      On a more serious note: I think I will solve this problem too, even in the absence of any support in India (even from COEP and other institutions), and in fact in the presence of active derision from a lot many, for two decades+, including from those in and from my home town, Pune. No, this is not meant either as a tear-jerker or as a "heroic" kind of a thing. Just a note of a fact.

      BTW, I also note this:

      Both the refs came from here:

      That link itself came after a Google search, not Bing. In future, that could change too. Or not. I was, am and will make sure to remain, independent --- whether supported or not, whether affiliated with institutions or not.


  5. If you actually want to be known for mathematics... you kind of have to DO ACTUAL MATHEMATICS WELL and then get written about, regardless of your skin color or gender, not just TALK ABOUT what color or sex you think some IMAGINARY FUTURE MATHEMATICIANS from a particular ethnic background should be.