The famous English mathematician Godfrey Herold Hardy (G. H. Hardy) once received an unexpected package from India at his Cambridge University address in England. Inside the package was a letter and some groundbreaking mathematical theorems and proofs. The package was from then 26 year old Srinivasa Ramanujan.
In his early teens Ramanujan managed to master advanced trigonometry, and started discovering sophisticated theorems. At the age of 16, he was given a copy of G. S. Carr‘s A Synopsis of Elementary Results in Pure and Applied Mathematics. He studied the book in details, and the following year he independently developed and investigated some famous mathematicians theories.
Having dropped out of college in order to earn a living, no institution would hire Ramanujan as Mathematician. Some believed he was a fluke, others were held back by his lack of formal higher education. While working as a clerk in Madras, Ramanujan was linked with professor G. H. Hardy at Cambridge University. And with the help of Hardy and others in his circle, Ramanujan made substantial contributions to pure mathematics, including field of mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series, and came up with solutions to mathematical problems previously considered unsolvable.
Talent is evenly distributed, opportunities are not
The common belief is that everything that is great happens in just the developed countries. That people who will shape our future (as a civilization) are the scientists, economists, engineers, scholars and politicians in the developed societies. And the sad thing is we have widely accepted it. Therefore we totally miss the fact that talent is evenly distributed. That there are plenty of talented individuals in poor countries that could be crucial in solving some of mankind’s existential problems.
A dire need for more problem solvers
We have had major breakthroughs in science and technology, but the truth is there are still countless problems in these fields that still baffle our most brilliant scientists. Cancer is estimated to kill about 7.5 million people annually. The human brain and most of its related diseases still puzzle the brightest researchers and doctors. Currently, entire nations are being displaced due to sea level rise caused by global warming, with no viable solutions in the horizon. Some of the people nature has equipped with the talent to help figure some of these riddles may not able to attend prestigious universities. They might not have the means to be where geniuses are expected to be found.
When all talented people have a chance to excel, we increase our pool of problem solvers, innovators, of the people pushing the world forward. We increase the odd of the human civilization’s continued existence.