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According to the “OECD Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard 2015: Innovation for growth and society” report, Greece is among the 10 smartest countries in the world when it comes to science. The report includes data up to 2012 and tracks new college degrees in 40 of the world’s most advanced countries. The ranking is based on the percentage of science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM)degrees awarded per capita so that it’s a fair comparison between countries with different populations.
Specifically, with a score of 26%, Greece ranks 6th on the list. However, it is worth noting that, overall, the 40 most science-educated countries in the world witnessed a drop from 23% STEM degrees in 2002 to 22% a decade later. Greece, for instance, spent only 0.08% of its GDP on research in 2013, one of the lowest reported among developed countries. This might explain why its STEM degree rate dropped from 28% in 2002 to 26% in 2012. This comes at challenging times – when scientists are needed if we are to solve the biggest problems of our era, from climate change and food security to nuclear non-proliferation.
Acknowledging the significance of science in society, the American Mathematical Society and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics have established the Norbert Wiener Prize in Applied Mathematics, which is awarded every three years to a member of their societies for an outstanding contribution to applied mathematics in the highest and broadest sense.
Specifically, the 2016 Prize has been awarded to the Greek applied mathematician Constantine M. Dafermos, who holds a diploma in Civil Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens and a PhD from The Johns Hopkins University, for his foundational work in partial differential equations and continuum physics.