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The 'Your-Name-Here' Science Talent Search?

Intel will be dropping its sponsorship of the prestigious Science Talent Search, the New York Times reports.

The yearly competition began in 1942 as an essay competition — 'How can science help win the war? — and that year's Top Boy went on to develop an artificial kidney and the Top Girl became an ophthalmologist, the Times says. Other past winners have gone on to become Nobel Prize laureates, CEOs, and university professors.

"When I was a finalist in 1961, it was the Sputnik generation, when America was competing with Russia to get into space," Mary Sue Coleman, a member of the board of the Society for Science and the Public, which manages the competition, says. "It was a national obsession. People in school cheered us on like we were star athletes. I got letters from the heads of corporations."

Intel took over sponsorship of the prize from Westinghouse in 1998, the Times says, adding that the company's current decision to end its support is "puzzling." The competition, it adds, costs some $6 million a year, or 0.01 percent of the company's revenue last year. A company spokesperson was unable to tell the paper why it was ending its support, effective in 2017.

The Society for Science and the Public is to begin its search for a new sponsor and Coleman notes that Google could be a candidate.

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