In honor of RCSA’s 2012 Centennial, the foundation, Discover magazine and the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) came together May 16, 2012, to present a discussion about world-changing research. It was entitled Crazy or Brilliant: Betting on High-Risk, High-Reward Science.
The event was part of “Science in the City,” a public series sponsored by NYAS. The wide-ranging conversation was moderated by Corey Powell, editor-in-chief of Discover. The panel featured Jon Gertner, author of The Idea Factory, recalling the history of Bell Labs; renowned theoretical physicist Brian Greene; technology investment expert Shelley Harrison; and MacArthur Genius Award-winning nanoscientist Michael Lipson.
The discussion, featured in the December 2012 issue of Discover, focused on the speakers’ personal involvement in high-risk, potentially high-reward research and the resulting outcomes. Read their comments at http://bit.ly/VaYcSK
Generally, the panelists expressed deep gratitude for the people and institutions that were willing to take chances on their crazy ideas early in their careers.
The following evening, May 17, 2012, RCSA and the Academy jointly sponsored a dinner for about 100 guests in recognition of the RCSA Centennial.
The event included a panel discussion, Innovation at 100, on the topic of how venerable institutions, both private and public, stay current and prosper through changing times.
Karin Ezbiansky Pavese, NYAS vice president for innovation and sustainability, was the panel’s moderator. Participants included Francine Berman, vice president for research at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Tim Noonan, vice president of Phantom Works Ventures and Boeing Energy; Leemor Joshua-Tor, dean of the Colds Springs Harbor Watson School of Biological Sciences; and Jane Snowden, senior manager for industry solutions and emerging business, energy and environment, at IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center.
Before the discussion RCSA Program Director Silvia Ronco explained RCSA’s current programs, including the Cottrell Scholar and Cottrell College Science Awards. RCSA Program Director Richard Wiener announced that in preparation for the foundation’s second century, RCSA is investigating the opportunity to launch a new Scialog® with partners. This second Scialog would focus on accelerating breakthroughs in battery storage technology.
RCSA's current Scialog program funds high-risk, high-reward, peer-reviewed proposals aimed at improving efficiencies in solar energy conversion to electricity and fuels.
The program also brings together Scialog fellows (those who have received grants through the program) and outstanding experts, as well as other, non-Scialog-funded researchers to participate in an annual conference. Conference participants are eligible for collaborative awards based on ideas developed during the conference.
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