What’s the big idea?

The Winter edition of Issues in Science and Technology has published a selection of very thoughtful essays from some of our smartest and most successful investors and academics.

In a piece called “What’s the big idea?,” venerated Venrock VC, Ray Rothrock, discusses his experience and, indeed, success as a venture capitalist and his honed understandings of how to sniff out the best teams and the brightest visions, remaining “ruthlessly focused on finding ideas that we think can be brought to market with reasonable investments and in reasonable periods of time.”  He then goes on to explain why he was motivated and even compelled to make an investment in Tri-Alpha Energy, a fusion venture, which he calls “the riskiest and most significant venture project of my career . . . an energy development company that, if it succeeds, would change the world in profound ways.”

In “A Roadmap for US Nuclear Energy Innovation,” Dr. Richard Lester, professor and associate provost at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, reviews a variety of forces that are inspiring a renewed push for nuclear energy. He cites several recent climate policy assessments that have concluded that meeting the world’s growing appetite for energy while achieving deep reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions will be impossible without rapid nuclear energy growth, along with massive increases in the deployment of solar, wind, and other low-carbon energy technologies. He goes on to propose a roadmap for innovation that enables the U.S. to lead, rather than follow, Russia and China in advancing nuclear technology.

Read Ray Rothrock’s essay “What’s the big idea?,” and Richard Lester essay “A Roadmap for US Nuclear Energy Innovation.”