There's a reason England was able to harness geniuses like Isaac Newton

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How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries
Book Excerpt 

We’ve been looking at the global first-appearance question: why did modern science appear first in Western Europe as opposed to the empires of China, Islam, or India? But there’s another, more local, first-appearance question: why England as opposed to, say, France, Italy, or the Netherlands?

The answer cannot be a monopoly on brilliant scientists. Scientists in nearly every nation across Western Europe contributed crucial scientific steps, as described earlier. Luck and timing always play a role in creativity and invention—the essence of a first-appearance story. Branch Rickey was the Hall of Fame baseball executive who created baseball’s farm league system for developing new talent: players compete in the Minors and rise up to the Majors if they do well. He used that system to build eight World Series teams. It was Branch Rickey who originated the saying cited in part one: “Luck is the residue of design.” England did one . . .