12 May 2009

Prize or Ploy ~ Skepticism About Incentive Ethics

In today's WSJournal, Robert Lee Hotz writes The Science Prize: Innovation or Stealth Advertising? noting that...
"Rewards for Advancing Knowledge Have Blossomed Recently, but Some Say They Don't Help Solve Big Problems. [Indeed...] Critics, though, dismiss the newest trend in prize-giving as a form of advertising that masquerades as public service -- and a clever ploy to attract top research talent at a discount."
While I'm a supporter of prizes as a powerful force for inspiration, I too have noticed how mercenary jerks exploit ignorant enthusiasm, too often for their own gain.

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