Free Market Maths
Paul Norridge

In recent years the problem of funding in academic circles has become one of considerable size. Obviously, in maths, partnerships with industry are not always feasible. Many of the other conventional solutions are also difficult to implement. So what other possibilities are there in this area? Where can we turn to combat this result of current economic policy?

One answer which I think has been seriously overlooked is that of theorem sponsorship. For instance, think of the money that could be generated by the Coca-Cola Theory of Relativity, or the Pepsi–Bolzano–Weierstrass theorem. Organisations could be charged a small amount for each lecture or paper involving their chosen subject. This would have the advantage of generating capital for the study of those areas which are most often used. This fits very nicely with the government’s current view on the free market and would no doubt be widely welcomed.

In fact, the idea has more possibilities than may be obvious at first glance. For example, companies could sponsor those subjects which are particularly relevant to their trade—“Kelvin’s Economy 7 Circulation Theorem”, the “Dulux White-with-a-hint-of-Green’s function”, or the irresistable “Remington’s Fuzzaway Fuzzy Subsets”.

Perhaps the most profitable area would be politics itself, surely Chaos is ideal for this. Or maybe we could have the Labour Left-half plane and the Conservative Right-half plane (though no doubt the latter would soon be privatised.)

Only one problem really springs to mind—Could Sainsbury’s be prosecuted by the Advertising Standards Authority for sponsoring the infinite server queue ...?


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