If we pay attention to the long-term changes in the global economy, we will certainly be shocked by the share of ancient China and India in the world economy. According to British economic history scholar Angus Maddison, China’s GDP in 1820 was 32.9% of the global total, and India, which has become a British colony, accounted for 16%.
Although such data is not accurate, it reveals an economic reality: in ancient times, when the level of science and technology was generally low, the population directly determined the economic strength of a certain region or country.
Another scholar said that this traditional economic form is a “population-driven model.” However, in modern times, the world economic order has undergone earth-shaking changes, and science and technology have become the main driving force for economic growth. After two industrial revolutions, Western countries with a small population of the world have almost monopolized the position of all economic powers. The science center is almost equal to the economic center, and this kind of law is still unstoppable.
As the highest-ranking Nobel Prize in Natural Science, it has a history of more than 100 years since 1901. It has long-term and global characteristics, and is also a good representation of the global law of space and time development in modern natural science. In the 20th century, Germany and the United States experienced a silent change in the number of nominees. Compared with the war between the two countries, it may reflect their strengths.
At the beginning of the 20th century Nobel Prize, the number of German winners ranked first in the world. In the first decade of the awards (1901–1910), Germany’s awards accounted for 33.3% of the total number of winners, far exceeding France’s 16.7%, the UK’s 11.1% and the US’s 2.8%. The Nobel Prize was originally divided into five awards: Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace. In the first Nobel Prize, German scientists won three natural science awards in physics, chemistry, physiology, or medicine.
Germany has been leading the Nobel Prize for nearly 40 years.
Since then, Germany has been leading the Nobel Prize for nearly 40 years. From 1901 to 1939, before Germany provoked World War II, Germany won 11 physics prizes, accounting for 23.9% of the total physics awards; 15 people received chemistry awards, accounting for 37.5% of the total number of chemistry prizes; A total of 9 medical awards, accounting for 21.4% of the total number of physiology or medical awards; cumulative number of winners reached 35, accounting for 27.3% of the total number of winners in the world. At that time, the old technology and the strong country, Britain and France, were behind Germany.
All of this is inseparable from the country’s thriving state at that time. Germany, which is on the rise, has provided excellent conditions for scientific research in all aspects, and a large number of outstanding scientists have emerged. The prosperity of German technology is first and foremost attributed to the strong support of the state and society. In 1871, Germany achieved national reunification, and the rapid development of capitalist industrialization had a huge demand for science and technology. Both the government and the enterprise have provided tremendous support for the development of science and technology.
Devil Wilhelm II proposed a fairly advanced concept and provided the university with sufficient financial resources to ensure that scientists have a good living standard, guaranteed the university’s self-management and academic freedom, and then established a set of basic theory to applied research. Scientific research system.
The establishment of research institutes, associations, laboratories and other institutions has enabled the rapid development of scientific research in Germany. Specialized associations and laboratories have greatly improved the efficiency of research in related science and technology fields. Germany’s technology is highly localized. 85% of the German Nobel Prize winners from 1191 to 1939 were all highly educated in Germany. Many scientists in Eastern Europe were also attracted by the developed academic and generous treatment of Germany. German research career.
Second, the reform within the education system has provided a good talent reserve for German science and technology development. Germany implemented a compulsory education system in the 18th century; during the period of Frederick I, Prussia built more than 1,800 primary schools and became the world’s leading education power. This has been inherited by Germany.
At the same time, Germany reformed secondary education and higher education in the 19th century, introduced natural science knowledge for secondary education, and established the dual task of “seeking for science” and “cultivation of individuality and morality” for higher education. In this way, the educational advantage of Germany is further amplified.
Finally, the 19th century German philosophy and social sciences were also in an unprecedented period of prosperity, such as Durkheim, Weber, Kant, Hegel… Their intellectual heritage has nourished the hearts of the entire German intellectual community. In particular, natural philosophy, through the enlightenment of science and the close integration with science, has become the forerunner of German scientific development.
In addition, the unification of Germany is filled with a strong patriotism, inspiring several generations of scientists to contribute to the motherland. The best example is Fritz Haber. The scientist was born in a Jewish merchant in Germany and studied at the University of Berlin, Heidelberg University and the Charlottenburg Institute of Technology (now the University of Technology Berlin). He received his Ph.D. in 1891. Driven by a strong patriotism, Haber even gave up Judaism and converted to Christianity.
The advent of exiled scientists has greatly promoted the development of American technology and culture.
At that time, ammonia was an important raw material for fertilizers and gunpowder, and it had significant economic and national defense value, mainly extracted from saltpeter. The lack of such resources in Germany is dependent on international trade. In order to help Germany achieve self-sufficiency, Huber has been involved in the research of synthetic ammonia for several years and finally succeeded in 1910. In 1918, Haber won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
The rise of German science is inseparable from the contributions of German Jewish scientists, but the failure of World War I strongly stimulated German national sentiments, the desire to turn over, and was used by Nazi political rights. The Jews and the communists who were active in Germany were suppressed by the Nazis as national sinners.
In early 1933, the Nazi German government enacted the Law on the Restoration of Public Officials, which stipulated that “dismissal of all public officials not of Aryanian origin” and many Jewish civil servants were dismissed. The Nazis also promoted anti-Semitism in the university campus, forcing many Jewish college students to drop out of school, and Jewish teachers were fired. From 1933 to 1935, about 1,200 Jewish scientists were expelled from German universities or research institutes. By 1938, university teachers had been fired for 15% to 20% for political and ethnic reasons.
This political event has led to a sharp reduction in the strength of German scientific talent. With the outbreak of the Second World War, more Jewish scientists began to flee the European battlefield, resulting in the largest “knowledge exile” since the 20th century.
It can be seen that the changes in the social and political environment in Germany are an important cause of brain drain, and this result is also an important reason for the decline of the status of the German science center. The Nazis’ perverse actions did not result in Germany’s victory in the war, but instead brought greater defeat to Germany, which led to a larger brain drain. Just after the end of the German war, the United States set out and implemented a plan to import German scientists and technical experts into the country. With the transfer of a large number of scientists, the United States began to replace Germany as the biggest winner of the Nobel Prize.
The rise of the United States
In the 20th century, although the United States was already the world’s largest economy, before the Second World War, Germany was still the leader of science and education. The early Nobel Prize winners in the United States had experience in studying or visiting Germany.
For example, in 1907, Albert A. Michelson, the first American winner, graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1881 and studied at the University of Berlin in Germany for two years before returning to work in the United States; 1932 After graduating from Columbia University in New York, the chemistry prize winner Irving Langmuir went to study at the University of Göttingen in Germany in 1906. He studied under the famous German physical chemist and chemical historian Nernst.
The anti-Semitic activities of Nazi Germany before the war caused a large number of Jewish refugees to flee. The United States is far from being equal to the refugees. The ordinary refugees have been harassed by the US immigration authorities and restricted to enter the country. The United States has vigorously recruited “knowledge refugees” who can use them with high literacy and professional skills. .
The US intellectual community and other civil aid organizations have also set up specialized agencies, such as the “Aid for Foreign Scholars Exile Committee”, “American University Aid Committee”, “Exile University” and other organizations, dedicated to seeking positions for German professors in American universities, seeking to absorb Knowledge refugees travel to the United States.
The Science Foundation, which is based on the Rockefeller Foundation, also played an important role in the admission of knowledge refugees. From 1933 to 1941, the United States accepted about 7,622 German and Austrian knowledge refugees, accounting for about 63% of the total number of German and Austrian knowledge refugees. These include 1,090 scientists, accounting for 77% of the total number of exile scientists around the world.
The advent of exiled scientists has greatly promoted the development of American technology and culture. The most obvious example is the contribution of Einstein, Hans Betty and others to the study of the atomic bomb theory in the United States. A British official once joked that the Allies won the war, largely because “our German scientists are better than their German scientists.”
During the Second World War, the US government’s pursuit of science and technology, especially military technology, was very enthusiastic. From 1940 to 1945, the US government invested $5.04 billion in science and technology research, accounting for 0.42% of the gross national product of this period. This esteem for technology has stimulated the demand for high-end talent in the United States. As the battle against Germany came to an end, the US government immediately began to “hand in” German scientists and technical experts.
In July 1945, the US Department of the Army began the German talent input program, code-named “Clouds and fog.” In the beginning, this was only a temporary plan, and the number was limited to 350. The plan is extremely confidential and is the responsibility of the military. It not only bypasses the eyes of the Allies but also keeps the domestic legislature and the public secret. The first to be “fancy” by the United States was the German rocket expert – in the late World War II, the Nazis developed rocket weapons. Although they were unable to return to the sky, they still left a deep impression on the US military. More than 100 rocket experts led by von Braun, the chief expert of rocket technology, were sent to the United States to work on rockets and missiles. Its team of experts includes 25 doctors, 34 MSc, 48 Bachelor of Science and 9 technical experts.
However, due to the lack of long-term protection, especially the United States does not allow scientists’ families to travel to the United States together, many German experts are not willing to sell for the United States. The implementation of the “cloud cover” plan was not smooth, and the Soviet Union was also vying for German scientists. The United States launched the “Clips Program” after the war.
This time, the United States limited the number of places to 1,000, while giving German scientists more sincere protection, allowing their families to reunite and provide generous treatment. From 1948 to 1952, a total of 518 German scientists entered the United States through the “Clips Program.” Most of these scientists served the US military; after April 1947, these scientists were allowed to enter private companies for research and development.
After a large-scale talent transfer, the United States replaced Germany as the center of world technology. In 1945, the number of German Nobel Prize winners was only 14 in the world, and the United States, which accepted a large number of German Jewish knowledge refugees, had more than 25 winners in the world.
After World War II, Europe began a long period of reconstruction, and the United States maintained a high degree of economic prosperity. In addition to the talent input plan of the state organization, the developed economy of the United States naturally attracts the migration of many scientists. From the data point of view, the 1946-1991 Nobel Prize was awarded to 269 people, the United States alone 180 people, accounting for more than half of the total, and immigrants accounted for one-third of the US winners.