Invest Energy $$ in Graduate Students

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In my draft book, The Next Golden Age of America – We can Give our Grandchildren a Better World, I stress a theme of making good long-term decisions today.  Good or bad, the decisions of today are bets affecting our Grandchildren’s future.   Here is a clear “two-fer” (Good Bet). The Federal government should spend a significant fraction of the energy budget on grants to major universities for energy research and development (by U.S. students).  This investment would return: 1) knowledge for breakthrough innovations and 2) more scientists and engineers.  From my experience, graduate students are the best research bargain our country has.  They are bright and willing to work long hours for minimal pay (room, board, and tuition) while they conduct research supporting their degrees.  Further, the university environment is excellent for “cross fertilization” of ideas.  The $500 million wasted on the Solyndra®  company would have paid for 25 thousand student-years of graduate school, or as many as 5,000 PhDs.  ‘Nuf said.

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