Why Innovators Don’t Respect their Teachers

Investment in Business Innovation

In an interview with Chris Mooney, the world-renowned astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson discussed the problem of sub-standard results among math & science students in America.   During their conversation, Tyson was asked to consider why it is that despite average American students having poorer grades in math & science they are still more likely than their Asian counterparts to grow up to lead the world in scientific and technological innovation –as they have for the past several decades. 

In response, Neil Degrasse Tyson stated:

…Students in the East have so much respect for their teachers that they do not question whether their opinion is right or wrong…while in the United States, the kind of irreverence that children show toward adults and teachers just might spill over into intellectual creativity.” (2 minute interview clip below, courtesy of Point of Inquiry)

The point of Tyson’s argument is that if children are truly free from the restraints of their parents and teachers, as they relatively are in our post-modernist society, young creative minds are able to produce innovative ideas and solutions to problems that were undreamed of by our predecessors –while the rest of us are coincidentally allowed to fail algebra and calculus without fear of not being able to continue formal education past high school.  Whereas competition for post-secondary education in Asian countries like Korea and China is so intense that without good grades across the board students have no hope of getting into a university, and hence their dreams of a successful career disintegrate.

So the next time your child or student doesn’t pay to you the respect you unduly deserve, consider this:  If we are all willing to blindly follow our teachers without opening our minds to the possibility that there is a better idea, or a more efficient process, then the rate of innovation and the accompanying opportunities for  improved standards of life that we anticipate (i.e. clean burning fuel and a cure for cancer) will remain science-fiction.

Government Funding for Research and Development

While we as a society have little else  to offer to our teachers and elders to help cope with the increasing lack of respect paid to them by our budding young creative geniuses, theCanadian government does offer our innovative entrepreneurs a way to maintain their winning ways throughout their professional endeavors.  FedDev Ontario’s Investment in Business Innovation (IBI) Program is aimed to support the growth of private investments through Angel or Venture Capital in Southern Ontario.  This funding for small business program was launched to help stimulate and leverage private sector investments to serve the development and late-stage commercialization challenges of start-up businesses.  IBI government funding for business will provide support of up to $1M in repayable loan funding at 0% interest, covering approximately 33.3% of expenses related to commercializing new products, practices or processes of start-up businesses by obtaining angel or venture capital investments.

More Information Regarding IBI and Other Canadian Government Funding Programs

Mentor Works Ltd. helps SME’s select and apply to a wide range of available Canadian Government Funding Grants, Loans, and Tax Credits aimed at supporting business expansion and research and development projects. Please contact a Mentor Works Canadian Government Funding Expert for program and service information, and follow us on Twitter for daily Canadian government funding updates.

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