What do Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, New York City and Newark, NJ Mayors MIchael Bloomberg and Corey Booker, Russian punk-rock band Pussy Riot, and Fusioneer Taylor Wilson all have in common?
As the magazine's website says, "Since 1857, The Atlantic has presented some of America's most provocative thinkers, people with the bravery to challenge convention and imagine the future."
Taylor is included in this year's listing as a "Nuclear Scientist:"
When he was 14, Wilson built a nuclear-fusion reactor. Then, a bomb-sniffing device that impressed even the president. Now 18, the prodigy is skipping college and using a $100,000 Thiel Fellowship to try to crack the riddle of harnessing energy from nuclear fusion—a feat that plenty consider impossible.
The article quotes Taylor:
These days, the scientific community accepts me. But getting to that point was tremendously hard, and I think it required a big perception shift. When people have dedicated their lives to something—and spent eight years in college—they just expect that a kid wouldn’t be up to doing it. But kids have a certain predisposition to do things differently and see the world differently—and that’s helpful.
That's pretty much what I've always said: "If you don't know what can't be done, there's nothing to stop you from going ahead and doing it."
We'll see how much difference a whole $100k can make in Taylor's quest...