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  • rmacculloch

Why has Einstein Medalist Roy Kerr, the outstanding mathematician from NZ, never been Knighted?

National and Labour and ACT have at various times waxed on about their "vision" of NZ as a high value-added world tech center. What subject is tech based upon? Mathematics. A Chicago mathematician just told me that whereas last decade most of his star students went into banking & finance, now they are going into tech. On that note, why has Roy Kerr, who is based at the University of Canterbury, never been knighted? He won the Albert Einstein Medal in 2013 "for his 1963 discovery of a solution to Einstein's gravitational field equations." Why hasn't Rotorua-born Shane Legg, who Time Magazine ranked as one of the Top 100 most influential people in Artificial Intelligence in the world never been knighted in NZ? Why haven't a bunch of other incredible mathematicians at the University of Auckland right now never been knighted? By the way, nearly every one of my economics teachers in the UK has been knighted - Sir Tim Besley, Sir Tony Atkinson, Sir Steve Nickell, Sir John Vickers, and more. How many in NZ? Not one.

Could this be an underlying reason why productivity is near zero here? Aside from the low pay, NZ is not even giving status to its mathematicians & teachers who are our main hope of coming up with ways of improving productivity & helping others to do so. Who do Knighthoods & Damehoods mostly go to here? We can't spell it out, since people in high places do not want that truth to be told. What we can say is that cash-for-honours, honours for the politically well-connected, and honours for every type of sportsperson imaginable, are rife - but when it comes to knighting a chap like Kerr, who has just turned 90, and who deserves it 1000 times more than any other living Kiwi, don't even think about.


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