You’re never too old to be a genius

October 5th, 2020 by Ken

When I was a young man I often thought that I should be awarded a MacArthur Fellowship Grant, more commonly known as a MacArthur Genius Grant.

Awarded annual by the John D and Katherine T MacArthur Foundation – the grant is given annually to 20-30 Americans working in many different fields of  endeavor.  Currently the grant is $625,000.  Its purpose is to free those with extreme talent from having to worry about making money and instead being able to concentrate on their work.

Since I will shortly be 78 years of age, I’ve begun to suspect that I’ve grown too old to recognized by the Foundation.

Until recently.

That’s when I read about Arthur Ashkin, who won a Noble Prize at the age of 96.  He worked at AT&T labs as a researcher for 40 years and saw many of his contemporaries win Noble Prizes in their field.   He said that he just thought he wasn’t as smart as the other guys in his research lab.  He retired in 1992 but continued his work in his basement lab.  In 2018, the Nobel committee recognized his work with photons and awarded him his Nobel Prize.

He was quoted as saying ,the Nobel Committee thought   “Oh he’s a smart guy.  Guess we’d better accept his paper before it was iffy.”  Ashkin died this year at the age of 98.

But, it gave me hope.  If he could win a Nobel Prize at 96, maybe there’s still time for me to win a MacArthur Genius Grant.

I guess the only thing standing in my way now is – – – you have to be a genius.

Posted in Informational, The Real News

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