Science needs entrepreneurs, says Google co-founder

By on February 20, 2007, 5:53 AM
You know what they say, talk is cheap, however we must give it to 33-year old billionaire Larry Page, co-founder of Google. He's not an usual suspect addressing the sci/tech community, instead he likes to keep quiet while retaining a leading role at his company. However recently during a meeting of academic researchers, Page made his voice heard encouraging scientists to market themselves better, and make bigger efforts toward solving big human problems. He was certainly not short on ideas while making the statement, here a few of those he mentioned:

- Noting how 40,000 people die annually in U.S. auto accidents, Page proposed giving computers control over cars. While many people fear the loss of control, he said, "I am pretty sure if computers guided cars, a lot fewer people would die."

- Build fewer roads in underdeveloped parts of Africa. Instead, he suggested ultra light planes capable of traveling at up to 90 mph (145 kph) and which would consume less gasoline than ground vehicles.

- A major limitation to wind power is the need for a distribution grid to move power from regions where wind blows to where populations are centered. He said 80 percent of the electrical grid of Europe and North Africa could be served by an ambitious wind distribution grid cross-connecting the two regions. "Are we going to build that grid? I don't think so. But I think it would be a good idea."

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