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Finding the right formula
Finding the right formula
Madhusudhan Raman

NEW DELHI — In an article in The Atlantic, Patrick Collison and Michael Nielsen express their concerns about the perceived slowdown of scientific progress. With "more scientists, more funding for science, and more scientific papers published than ever before," they ask whether the rising investment in scientific research is yielding proportionately rising dividends, or whether we are "investing vastly more merely to sustain (or even see a decline in) the rate of scientific progress?" Yet, as they concede, it's unclear how to measure the rate of scientific progress.

Much ink has been spilled on the misplaced reification of the Nobel Prizes. The Wire: It presents "a lopsided view of how scientific research has been undertaken in the world." The Atlantic: "The discoverer is forever billed as an intellectual force in their own right — creating an equivalence between one historical contribution and their entire portfolio of ideas forevermore." Then, there are the shocking omissions: Rosalind Franklin, Vera Rubin, Jocelyn Bell Burnell and E.C.G. Sudarshan, to name just a few.

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Geopolitics

AMLO Power Grab: Mexico's Electoral Reform Would Make Machiavelli Proud

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, aka AMLO, says his plans to reform the electoral system are a way to save taxpayer money. A closer look tells a different story.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico votes

Luis Rubio

OpEd-

MEXICO CITY — For supporters of Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) the goal is clear: to keep power beyond the 2024 general election, at any price. Finally, the engineers of the much-touted Fourth Transformation, ALMO's 2018 campaign promise to do away with the privileged abuses that have plagued Mexican politics for decades, are showing their colors.

Current electoral laws date back to the 1990s, when unending electoral disputes were a constant of every voting round and impeded effective governance in numerous states and districts. The National Electoral Institute (INE) and its predecessor, the IFE, were created to solve once and for all those endemic disputes.

Their promoters hoped Mexico could expect a more honest future, with the electoral question resolved. The 2006 presidential elections, which included AMLO as a recalcitrant loser, showed this was hoping for too much. That election is also, remotely, at the source of the president's new electoral initiative.

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