Is High-Risk Science Nuts or Brilliant? Event Tomorrow at the NY Academy of Sciences

By Veronique Greenwood | May 15, 2012 11:05 am


Just so it’s on your radar, New Yorkers: You won’t want to miss tomorrow night’s exciting discussion at the New York Academy of Sciences of how cutting-edge science and innovation are stimulated and sustained:

Moderated by Corey Powell, Editor-in-Chief of Discover Magazine, the panel will feature Jon Gertner, author of the recent bestselling book The Idea Factory; renowned theoretical physicist Brian Greene, PhD; technology investment expert Shelley Harrison, PhD; and MacArthur Genius Award-winning nanoscientist Michal Lipson, PhD.

Despite popular depictions on televisions and in film, scientific discoveries don’t always come as “Eureka!” moments after years of careful study and pursuit. A fair portion of scientific discoveries are the result of “that’s so crazy it just might work” thinking, or even, “this might fail, but we have to try it” ideas.

High-risk, high-reward science is defined by unique ideas and unconventional approaches that have the potential to create new models or fields within science and engineering or to radically change our understanding of a current concept. Such high-risk ideas may seem obvious in hindsight, but at the time they are unorthodox, impossible, or simply crazy. Yet there are organizations and individuals who make it their mission to identify and invest in these crazy and possibly brilliant ideas.

Join Research Corporation for Science Advancement, New York Academy of Sciences, and Discover Magazine in a thoughtful, honest, and wide-ranging conversation about what it takes to pursue unorthodox ideas and more importantly, what can we do to cultivate more creative leaps in science and technology.

Registration information is available here. See you there!

Image courtesy of _gee_ / flickr

  • Shayne Justen

    I am currently gathering a group of people, who are interested in this subject. Please mail me at


Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!


80beats is DISCOVER's news aggregator, weaving together the choicest tidbits from the best articles covering the day's most compelling topics.

See More

Collapse bottom bar