150 people in a big room, a big ballroom someplace, and for two days, just put out ideas. One idea begets the next idea, and so forth, and off we go. So starting from his position as a “matriculator,” William is going to start recruiting a friend at Caltech. We have contacts at Texas, and I wrote to Donna Shalala at Miami a couple of days ago, because she’s strong on women scientists. We are going to recruit 40 or 50 young people at the regular college level—we are not going for postdocs yet—and let them start to write physics road maps. I think they will have a pretty good idea as to what that road map should be by the end of this year.
We are not thinking in terms of urgency. I see this as a program that will grow gradually over 10 years. About two or three years from now, the students who are active in my road map program will be learning more from their road mapping experience than their courses for general matriculation.
I have also taken the idea to Jiang Zemin in China and to top people in Israel. I said, “Why don’t you embarrass the United States? Why don’t you write the road map?” But the Israelis have been muddling around with the idea. But now, through our youth, we are going to excite a science road map program, eventually with international membership in our road map workshops.
We are going to accomplish all three of my blockbuster changes. We are on the cusp of taking on the first two, changes in energy distribution and the elimination of congestion. In three or four years, someone like a Chuck Vest will be saying, “Let me tell you about that program with the college kids writing road maps. They’re actually making some progress.”
We will draw the geniuses back in. I talked to Jim Cronin, a Nobel scientist working in Argentina, eventually in Utah, on the Pierre Auger Project, cosmic rays, et cetera. He said, “I don’t understand what that’s all about, but I wish I was under 75. I’d like to be a part of that team.” So I think we are going to excite people about science road maps also.
As I said before, these are things we can do in America. You don’t have to go offshore, but the things you do will have a tremendous impact offshore. Great things can be done with your next project. I just have three ideas, and I’m pursuing them on my own, recruiting people to meet for extended periods of time to come up with practical ways to make them happen. Where are your ideas, the fourth or the fifth or the ninth? They would be so welcome! You have the technical talent to lead the way. I respectfully suggest that tremendous things could be done here.
Let me end with one odd comment that’s not obviously related to this agenda. Bill Spencer and a few marvelous academics were on a committee that put together the Galvin Report, at the invitation of the federal government, on how the U.S. Department of Energy laboratories could be more effective. I came up with a heretical idea that government laboratories should be privatized (none of the other members was too keen on it, but I had the authorship, so I got it into the report).
The details are simple and not worthy of comment here, but that’s the kind of thing that has to happen to bring America back to greatness. We have to privatize the laboratories. IBM can’t afford a total laboratory. Nor can AT&T. But we could figure out a way to privatize those 10 government laboratories. The idea is still being talked about in Washington, but the current Congress hasn’t got the stomach for those kinds of things.
Nevertheless, these are the kinds of things I have been changing for over 50 years. I changed the constitution of Ireland and the economy of Israel and moved them away from socialism. I gave Jiang Zemin an idea that had to be implemented in China to keep it from failing. He bought it, and brought my company in as a private-sector investor. For a long time, we were the largest foreign investor in China. With Bob Strauss and Akio Morita, I opened the Japanese market. It takes only two or three people to do these things. The minority always has to push things through.
The people in our industries can think great things and do great things.