Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Leisurely and Productive Contemplation in ... the U.S. Academic World?

Howard W. French, China Luring Scholars to Make Universities Great, NYTimes Online (October 31, 2005):
Mr. Yang, who leads a small experimental university in Ningbo, also criticized the lack of autonomy given to many Chinese researchers.

"At Princeton one mathematician spent nine years without publishing a paper, and then solved a problem that had been around for 360 years," Mr. Yang said, a reference to Andrew J. Wiles and his solution to Fermat's last theorem in the early 1990's. "No one minded that, because they appreciate the dedication to hard work there. We don't have that spirit yet in China."

This happens at Princeton, you say?

Does it happen anywhere else in these dear United States?