Obama Describes Nanotech Solutions to Energy as "Neat Stuff"

Some may view the video below of President Obama speaking on his recent visit to MIT laboratories and be encouraged that alternative energy solutions will soon be realized by science and technology.


As Obama says in the video, the US has a spirit of innovation bred into our DNA. That may be true, or not, but that spirit has certainly been usurped by the power of greed and the desire for short-term profits.

While our banks and other investment institutions are busy focusing their time and resources to interest-rate swaps and other derivatives that don’t create wealth only manage risk, if they even do that, you have a whole lot of science and technology sitting around going to seed waiting for investment to bring them to market.

I am sure there is someone within this administration, or in the government at large, that can see that the problem is not in the science but rather in getting traditional funding mechanisms to work effectively for bringing scientific and technological innovations to market. Then again, maybe not.

Unfortunately, if banks are left entirely to their own devices we will soon find ourselves rubbing two sticks together to start a fire as the state-of-the-art science for energy. And Obama’s stated hopes at the end of the video of the US being a leader in the technologies he saw first-hand at MIT and described as “neat stuff” will not only ring hollow, but they will be laughable.

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Nanoclast

IEEE Spectrum’s nanotechnology blog, featuring news and analysis about the development, applications, and future of science and technology at the nanoscale.

 
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Dexter Johnson
Madrid, Spain
 
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Rachel Courtland
Associate Editor, IEEE Spectrum
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