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Stimulating revolutionary science with mega-cash prizes

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Bruce Charlton, Dr Peter Andras


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We argue that the most ambitious science is intrinsically riskier science, more likely to fail. It is almost always a safer career strategy for the best scientists to seek to extend knowledge more modestly and to build incrementally on existing ideas and methods. Therefore, higher rewards for success are a necessary incentive to encourage top scientists to work on the most important scientific problems, ones where the solution has potentially revolutionary implications. We suggest that mega-cash prizes (measured in tens of millions of dollars) are a suitable reward for those individuals (or institutions) whose work has triggered radically new directions in science. © 2008.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Charlton BG, Andras P

Publication type: Editorial

Publication status: Published

Journal: Medical Hypotheses

Year: 2008

Volume: 70

Issue: 4

Pages: 709-713

ISSN (print): 0306-9877

ISSN (electronic): 1532-2777


DOI: 10.1016/j.mehy.2008.01.001

PubMed id: 18289798