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Most people think that science and math and engineering are found everywhere, like soccer, but actually, they are regional practices, more like hurling or tossing the caber. In the map, countries are resized according to the number of scientific papers they produce. Population size plays a role, but average productivity matters more. Note that Singapore, with a population of 5 million, looks bigger than Indonesia, with 240 million people.
You might think that scientific productivity depends on science funding, rather than regional differences in talent. But you would be wrong. It depends to some extent on money, but it depends more on the distribution of talent. You can get a feel for the influence of money by comparing China or India and their diasporas in the West. You see far higher scientific productivity in those diaspora populations than in their homelands. Partly this is due to selective immigration, but much…
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