Don't Let the Dark Ages Happen Here

The Middle East was once a bastion of scientific enlightenment, but the rise of religion played a key role in turning the region into a cultural backwater.
Let's not go there again.                         

Last month, Iranian-born Stanford mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani became the first woman to win the prestigious Fields Medal, the highest honor in mathematics. Congratulations are in order. Mirzakhani did her work here in the U.S., which illustrates an unhappy fact: Central Asian scientists are forced to come to the U.S. to do pioneering work because of the repressive governments and poor, resource-dependent economies of their home countries.

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