Peyton Robertson began inventing at only eight years old. He was brought up by his parents to find solutions to problems rather than complain about them. By the time he turned twelve, he had won first place in the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge for inventing the “Sandless Operational Sandbag” (SOS). His invention is much lighter than conventional sandbags, more intuitively-designed to avoid seawater and floodwater from seeping in, and 100% reusable. Once dried after use, the SOS can then be stored for future flood emergencies.
Mike Archer is a paleontologist who is best known for his involvement in the Riversleigh fossil site in Queensland, where over 40,000 specimens of 300 species were derived. Needless to say, it provided a big chunk of the puzzle of Australian fauna history. Apart from his active participation in fossil exploration, Mike is also the lead scientist of the “Lazarus Project” and has headed an experiment to bring back the extinct “Thylacine,” or what we now know as the Tasmanian Tiger. His work has earned him numerous accolades, including Fellowships of prestigious organizations and becoming a Member of the Order of Australia.
Not many people would have the audacity to leave the comfort of their office to pursue field work so an endangered species does not go extinct. Dyan deNapoli is so driven by her love for penguins that she has christened herself “The Penguin Lady.” She founded her educational business after leaving the New England Aquarium; after serving as the aquarium’s Senior Penguin Aquarist for seven-plus years, Dyan’s experience equipped her with impeccable knowledge of how to care for penguins and allow them to thrive. Her book, “The Great Penguin Rescue,” has also been recognized by numerous award-giving bodies. What saving 40,000 penguins could do!
Andras Forgacs is a renaissance man – he invents, helps companies take off and inspires people to be more creative. With a scientist for a father, it’s not surprising that Andras became a visionary; he co-founded “Organovo” with his father, Gabor, who served as the lead scientist for the cutting-edge biofabrication company which cultivates body parts using avant-garde technology. A few years later, Andras launched “Modern Meadows,” which works more like a meat brewery. With the help of technology, Andras hopes to address widespread hunger problems by “growing” meat.
Fabien Cousteau is an aquanaut, just like his father and grandfather before him. But more than just exploring the oceans to unlock their mysteries, Fabien went the extra mile by launching his “Plant a Fish” organization. It aims to educate the youth about the importance of protecting our waters and, as its name suggests, inspire them to do their share to create sustainable habitats for fishing. To honor his late grandfather’s 100th birthday, he directs “Mission 31,” and he and his research team will stay under the Florida Keys for 31 days to thoroughly study the current state of our waters.
We can’t argue with Hugh Herr, a double amputee, who says he’s not disabled. First of all, he’s a professional climber; secondly, when he walks using prosthetics he created himself, you really can’t tell from his gait. Hugh Herr currently directs the Biomechatronics research group at MIT Media Lab, and we owe him for the first-ever intelligent prosthetics, which utilize bionics to work like real body parts. His company, “iWalk,” has helped veterans, amputees, and stroke victims get their lives back. As he envisions a world where disability doesn’t exist, it’s certainly safe to call him a visionary.
Homaro Cantu is, as are most celebrity chefs, a gifted cook. What makes him different, though, is his unquenchable thirst for anything out of the ordinary. Wikipedia describes him as an inventor first, and a chef second. Why not? He has more than 10 pending patents, including a food replicator, a polymer box, and interactive utensils, all straight from his very own lab, “Cantu Designs.” Moto Restaurant in Chicago is flocked by food enthusiasts who always leave with a full stomach and a mind-boggling dining experience. He has also hosted a TV program and written a cookbook.
Nuclear energy is one of the most efficient energy sources in the world today; a single plant can provide electricity to more than ten times as many households as conventional coal-fired and oil plants. It is not without setbacks, however, and while nuclear energy has great potential to solve the energy crisis, it also presents huge risks due to its potentially-disastrous effects on human life and the environment.
Who says science is boring and unattractive? Meet Danielle Fong, a young Canadian scientist who proves that passion for science deserves much more credit than it receives. Danielle has become a fine demonstrator of how cool science can be, and the power it holds in bringing change to the world.
Food is often among the most significant factors that affect a person’s health. Throughout history, man has always sought ways to improve what he eats, but it is quite unfortunate that the modernization of food has made artificial much of what we eat, removing many nutrients our bodies need to stay healthy. Fortunately, though, there are still people in the world that promote natural food and support natural farming – people like Gary Paul Nabhan.