Thursday, December 11, 2008

Nerds in "charge"

Later today (Eastern US time), US President-elect Barack Obama is to announce the appointment of Steven Chu as Secretary of Energy.

What's interesting about this to me as a project manager is that soon-to-be Secretary Chu is a certified nerd. He comes from a Bell Labs heritage and is a scientist with a significant research background in energy.

The past few Secretaries of Energy have been mostly lawyers, military people, even dentists (!).

I have nothing against dentists, in fact some of my best friends (literally) are dentists. However, just as I would not want a quantum-theorist to be drilling in my mouth, I don't think dentists should be running the Department of Energy. At this point in human history, the US Department of Energy is not a position to be trifled with. That job belongs to someone who has the scientific interest, background, and experience for the position. Here we have a Nobel-prize-winning scientist. Hmmm, maybe he should should have a shot at this work.

Professor Steven Chu
(not a dentist)

The other thing that's "cool" (excuse yet another energy pun here) is the 'underdog' angle of Professor Chu. Note this clip from the Straits Times news service:

"He was rejected by the Ivy League colleges because his grades were relatively poor but was accepted at Rochester University in New York. By comparison, his older brother went to Princeton, and his two cousins got into Harvard." Read the breaking news story here.

Isn't it nice when the Rochester University guy makes a bigger impact than the Princeton and Harvard folks? I think that's tremendous (nothing against you Harvard and Princeton people).

In any case, this posting is just a brief applause for Obama's appointment of Chu and looking forward to the progress - and set of productive projects - that I predict it will bring.

Oh, and if you didn't get the word play in the title...for you word nerds, "charge" get it....?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Told ya so!

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