Five major transfers of the World Science Center

The selection criteria for the Nobel Prize in science and technology have undergone many changes, and some of the content even went against the wishes of Nobel himself. Nobel’s own last wish is that the winners are those who have contributed in the previous year. However, the later Nobel Prize Jury will conduct a long inspection of the winners before deciding on awards. This has caused a lot of regrets.

The reason is simple. Franklin had passed away when the Nobel Prize Jury decided to award the prize. There are many similar regrets. There are rumors in the market that Lin Yutang, Shen Congwen and others died early, which is one of the reasons why they did not win the Nobel Prize.

This change alone changed the “meaning” of the Nobel Prize.

Nobel’s own idea is to encourage outstanding contributors to support their scientific research career, so it should not be too late for the award. You know, the early Nobel Prize of 30,000 US dollars can support a scientist to carry out 20 years of scientific research without burden.

But today, when the Nobel Prize is awarded, most of the winners have already become famous, and the supportive significance of the bonus has been weakened.

Although there are regrets of one kind or another, this change gives the Nobel Prize the meaning of “lifetime achievement award”. And this is its first step towards a worldwide reference index.

History of Technology or Private History
Although Nobel’s own rules on the time when the winners were awarded were not implemented, it was implemented in another form. That is, when awarding the award, the award is not for the winner himself, but for his achievement.

Some scientists are famous, but have not won the Nobel Prize, such as Hawking.

On the contrary, some scientists have won more than once. For example, the lady in the famous scientific home won the Nobel Prize together with her husband for discovering the radioactivity of substances in 1903. In 1911, she won the Nobel Prize again for discovering the element radium.

It is precisely because of this change that the Nobel Prize emphasizes outstanding scientific discoveries or technological inventions, not the scientists themselves.

Therefore, it can mark the appearance and transfer of technological innovation points on the global map. This is also one of the conditions for it to become a “living map”.

It is recognized by science historians that the World Science Center has undergone five major transfers. What is the World Science Center? This was the first concept proposed by the British scholar Bernard, who used this to describe the phenomenon of the transfer of scientific power. Later, Japanese scholar Yuasa Mitsuho was inspired to use a quantitative method to “very scientifically” define the world science center.

By definition, countries that have more than 25% of global scientific achievements in the same period are called world science centers.

Counting from the birth of modern science, the world science center has undergone five major transfers, namely in Italy, Britain, France, Germany, and the United States.

The most recent transfer to us occurred during the “World War II” period when the World Science Center was transferred from Germany to the United States. According to data, before World War II, only 8 people in the United States won the Nobel Prize in Physics, 10 in the UK, and 11 in Germany. After World War II, the number of American award winners suddenly increased sharply. So far, they have almost never been absent, and the family dominates.

It can be seen that after the birth of the Nobel Prize, its science and technology awards faithfully reflect the actual situation of the scientific power of various countries. This is the aspect of its “living map” function.

However, before the Nobel Prize, how was the transfer of the World Science Center defined?

The first few transfers of the World Science Center corresponded to the birth and death times of great figures in the history of science.

For example, Galileo contributed a lot to Italy becoming the first world science center. At that time, a large number of books from the ancient Greek and Roman schools were passed back to Western Europe from the Arab world. Italy, with its geographical location close to the Arab world, gave rise to the most active trend of thought at that time. Galileo is one of the masters.

Then came England, and it was clear that Newton was beginning to radiate light. Newton was born in the second year of Galileo’s death. In the Newtonian era, the science center of Western Europe was undoubtedly in Britain. Whether it is the completion of the classic physics building or the invention of calculus, these achievements have allowed Yingtong to maintain its leading position.

Regarding the invention of calculus, Newton and Leibniz argued for most of their lives. Interestingly, Leibniz was a German, and the German authorities chose to support their citizens. The British government also did its part. They defended Newtonian calculus and regarded it as orthodox. However, the calculus we are using now is Lebnitzian, because its performance is more intuitive and concise, and Newtonian calculus is too cumbersome.

As successors, France and Germany have good innate conditions. Great thinkers and scientists from these two countries have also emerged in large numbers. From the earlier Descartes and Leibniz to the later Ampere, Pasteur, and Hertz, they all made great contributions to human civilization.

It can be said that before the 19th century, a history of science and technology was the private history of several scientists.

When the Pinot Award, what
Since it is a “private history”, its development context is naturally very clear. The Japanese scholar Mitsuho Yuasa, who defined the world science center, proposed that the transfer of the world science center takes about 80 years as a cycle. In other words, a country’s leading position in technological development can only be maintained for about 80 years.

However, it is not.

Up to now, American scientists are still regular visitors of the Nobel Prize for science and technology awards; in the past 20 years, American scientists have won this honor every year. Not only has there been no sign of decline, the United States has always maintained an absolute leading position in creating new disciplines and inventing new technologies.


While technology has drastically transformed the world, it has also transformed itself. Simply put, the technological era before the 20th century has passed. In that era, Faraday, who was born in grassroots, discovered electromagnetic induction through self-study of electrical theory. Edison, who had no academic background, relied on his talent and diligence to create his most prestigious invention.

At the beginning of the 20th century, scientific research increasingly developed in the direction of professionalism. It rejected “civil science” and it was difficult to have “self-employed”. In other words, scientific research has begun to become a costly undertaking, which is no longer affordable by individuals or small independent teams.

Take Physics as an example. Early Galileo’s experimental tools were simple tools such as inclined planes, timers, and pulleys, but in the 20th century, the most accomplished invention was the release of nuclear energy. It is understood that the United States mobilized more than 100,000 people to participate in the invention of nuclear weapons.

Just imagine, apart from the support of national power, who else can complete such a scientific research?


National trend
Nuclear weapons are an extreme example, but the development of science and technology in the 20th century has more or less conformed to the “same trend.” At this time, the emergence of scientific and technological achievements is no longer solely dependent on individual geniuses, and the competition is actually the strength of the same family.

More specifically, science and technology after the 20th century fight for three kinds of strength: economic strength, scientific research strength and educational strength.

There is no doubt that after World War II, the United States still occupies a hegemonic position in the world. The United States is the leader in the above three strengths. Therefore, it has the most and most advanced technological achievements, and it also has the most Nobel Prize winners in the science and technology category.

However, there are also opinions that globalization should be blamed for the failure of the “Yuasa phenomenon”. Their argument has two aspects: on the one hand, the most recent transfer of the World Science Center was from Germany to the United States, and the transfer of talents played a key role; on the other hand, even today, although most of the winners are in the United States, among them About 38% of the winners are immigrants.

Both of the above arguments involve immigration. In their view, a very important reason for the strength of American technology is that it has absorbed a large number of talents from other countries. Therefore, it is not the “Yuasa phenomenon” that is wrong, but the United States “cheating”.

It is true that the transfer of the World Science Center from Germany to the United States depends on the extremely special history behind it. During World War II, many Jewish scientists persecuted in Germany found a quiet desk in the United States. From a historical perspective, this has allowed the United States to pick up people cheap.

However, the special historical conditions are no longer available today, but talents from all over the world continue to run to the United States. This can reflect that the past practice of distinguishing national scientific research strength by country has no effect today.