Some talented people are rewarded immediately, others late in life, still others after death, and many whose deeds merit it may never be recognized at all. Chance is a factor, as well as corruption. The greatest inequality is the denial of recognition because of nationality, race, beliefs, sex, youth, age or physical handicap.
Among astronomical, biological, psychological and other scientific discoverers, women have been insufficiently recognized, a recent example having occurred when despite contributions by both sexes, only men received recognition in DNA research. Americans, to take another instance, dominate world media and entertainment; their actors and actresses are glorified, sometimes well beyond their merits, but there is no Oscar for an Egyptian, Indian, African, or Latin-American local performer, for example. Many national systems of honours, such as in the UK, neglect singular voluntary work, while political bureaucrats and money-makers receive OBEs and MBEs. In the arts, commercialism prevails, and intrinsic merit is overlooked in favour of what sells. Writers of outstanding quality are suppressed or censored by political regimes and religious orders. Recognition, when it comes, comes too late to support those who have been isolated and obscure.
Only about one-tenth of the Nobel Prizes awarded since 1980 have gone to people from the South, with 86 percent of the winners being from the industrialized countries of North America, Europe and Japan. More than nine out of ten have been men.
No scientific discovery is named after its original discoverer.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a unique, experimental research work of the Union of International Associations. It is currently published as a searchable online platform with profiles of world problems, action strategies, and human values that are interlinked in novel and innovative ways. These connections are based on a range of relationships such as broader and narrower scope, aggravation, relatedness and more. By concentrating on these links and relationships, the Encyclopedia is uniquely positioned to bring focus to the complex and expansive sphere of global issues and their interconnected nature.
The initial content for the Encyclopedia was seeded from UIA’s Yearbook of International Organizations. UIA’s decades of collected data on the enormous variety of association life provided a broad initial perspective on the myriad problems of humanity. Recognizing that international associations are generally confronting world problems and developing action strategies based on particular values, the initial content was based on the descriptions, aims, titles and profiles of international associations.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.