This year, the White House is asking you to send more than just your taxes to the government on April 15th. They also want you to send your ideas on which grand, unsolved scientific challenge of the 21st century you think the US should tackle first. They're thinking big here. Landing-on-Mars, cure-for-HIV, cold-fusion big. And Uncle Sam wants you to help them direct the research.
The call first went out in February, with the Office of Science and Technology Policy identifying eight key challenges that help exemplify the kind of suggestions they're looking for. The eight OSTP challenges were: finishing a complete DNA sequencing of every cancer, producing solar cells as cheap as paint, developing a lightweight bulletproof vest that can stop an armor-piercing round, designing education software as effective as a teacher and as engaging as a video game, inventing a prosthesis so advanced that a someone who lost their hands could play the piano, assembling a computer that can process a million trillion calculations per second, and building an automatic, real-time translator for the world's major languages. Notably absent from that list is any kind of advance in space exploration, viral medicine, fusion energy, or artificial intelligence.
OSTP is using the moonshot as its guide star, singling out President Kennedy's challenge to go to the moon as the inspiration it looks to replicate. Popsci asked a similar question of its readers last summer, so we know you readers have good ideas about what feats of engineering and science could inspire the world as profoundly as landing on the moon. To share with Obama the same requests you shared with us last year, send your emails to email@example.com, or tweet at him by replying to @whitehouse and including the #whgc hashtag.
Thus far, respondents have asked for better AI, a stable mobile OS, and medical marijuana. Based on your responses to our request, we know you can do better. So tweet at the White House with your ideas, but please, let's keep the requests for sexbots to a minimum.
I would like a cure for government spending.
Cheap/free male birth control
Slow down/stop aging process
More efficient energy
Ways to make American's more distracted, engaged, as in people not being lazy, to other things, like science, than populating the planet. Bigger populations will give government the obligation to interfere in our lives. More interference will inevitably lead to a socialism society. With people being distracted, doing something, it can lead to better societies. Distraction, being busy in a virtuous way, can make society better by itself, being autonomous to a certain extent, as most humans are rational beings. No help of government can, hopefully lead to lower taxes.
Capitalism works when there are few people around, and equal division of the races.
Socialism works when there is too many people in one class, the labor class primarily.
The bright side is that every one of those proposals and others have private hands working on them right now. But a good cash flow and a publicity campaign from the Feds would be a very tempting offer. Especially that it could be the best thing for the US to do since Apollo.
I can say right now that the bullet proof vest, prosthetic arm, translator, and that big computer are unlikely to make the cut. Though they're good, they don't compete well against the others and don't seem very Apollo-like (if that's the goal anyway).
The cancer DNA sequencing has more work beyond that to turn that information into cures. And the solar cells have too much competition with other sources; so it wouldn't guarantee an Apollo-like accomplishment
In my mind, the WINNER of this competition would be the EDUCATION SOFTWARE.
DARPA's report says we'll be short of nerds if we don't do something about it soon. Besides, if we go for the software then those recruits would work on the other projects in the long run. Or at least get into Congress and fix the problems there.
This made me cry.
@Crane - I would be interested to know how you think insulation could help our dependence on oil.
I just sent them a message asking why they are building Thorium nuclear power plants and linked the article below.
let's try paying off the debt first
Lol @ the medical marijuana thing. I heard a male birth control can be made using marijuana though.
Attaching cameras and voice recorders on all US Presidents/Senators/Representatives/Judiciary to let the public view their every move. Monetary software to control the money supply taking it out of the hands of the Federal Reserve and giving the power back to congress, like it was before 1913. Constitutional software that will replace corrupt Politicians/Presidents/Judiciary. Robots that will start the impeachment process when the president thinks he's some type of oligarch. GPS tracking of every government official.
How about a permanent moon base.... uh... oh darn. This is all BS. hahaha good one Obummer.
Ah, democracy at its finest
Where in the Constitution does it say the government has the authority to do any of these?
@ Crane - I see you referenced an article about insulation? I know what insulation is.
Oil generated electricity production in the US accounted for 1.1% of all electricity generated. Who cares?
I want a tactile suit that can mimic every sense of touch possible.
A dream maker machine. Plug yourself in and be able to dream/live any scenario imaginable.
Basically what that all boils down to is a better pornographic experience. =)
Force shield/Plasma shield
Then using this technology, we can make CO2 generators or compress CO2 gas into cans, ferry them to mars (faster method of interstellar flight warping, hyperspace folding etc...) and then the shield would enclose a certain radius which would fill up with CO2 gas. Once enough emission has been built up by various ferry's/pods then the shields can be opened, (enough as in the CO2 gas won't simply float away)...
Being able to resize objects with some sort of "shrink-ray"
A submersible capable of traversing the very depths of the Marianas trench. Fusion reactors for the cities.
Hmm... force field did I say that? ;)
No more wars, join the continents together work on colonization and clean the world. CO2 to Oxygen converter machines, perhaps based on photosynthesis. Lazer's that bounce from the moon and back....
Artificial intelligence etc...
I see many broad concepts lol, well mines was broad too.. but a bit more to the realistic side...
I sent them a message about Robotics directly controlled by humans. Creating a full body interface in a station to transmit movement to a robot like an actual human. Using this, it can help to reduce health risks; disease control compared to the usual people in haz-mats(sorry for the spelling, the suit they wear to prevent getting the disease, dangerous maintenance jobs, high- elevation construction, mining like coal, and among other things...
Advertisements beamed directly to my subconscious so I don't have to think about them/pay for any entertainment services.
1st: Fusion research
2nd: Effective birth control
3rd: moon base for Helium-3 needed if the 1st succeeds
4th: nano-tech for everything else
energy problem - best thing we can think of so far is the fusion idea
Since this greed creed wacko world and the Govt. hierarchies insist on maintaining this fundamentally flawed economic system, and lead the world into a disaster, it is most earnest and of prime importance to first find solutions to avoid the impending disaster, which is perpetuating a destruction from within.
Slow down/stop aging process
Power: Cheaper, more efficient solar. Wind Farms. Grid batteries. Smart grid. Build more nuke plants. Power from spent nuke rods. Then fusion. While we're at it, matter to engery devices and vice versa.
But I like the idea of tracking and bugging of every politican. How about some sort of voting reform so that acorn (or whatever they're calling themselves now) can't put in votes by dead and fictional people or multiple votes.
Every thing in this country and around the world, all technical, life itself, security, equal justice for all, insurance of domestic tranquillity, promotion of general welfare, blessings of liberty, posterity for all, future of this planet depends on economics, that so far has proven beyond a doubt to be fundamentally flawed.The problem lies with the crooked timber of humanity, the greed creed and man's indifference to its own kind and the rest of the living creatures. Unless that is fixed a perpetual decline is inevitable.
Ditto bperetto. And let's get the batteries for that Nissan Leaf to go 1,000 miles instead of 100. Until then, it's just a golf cart on steroids.
How about refining the correlation between Obama and Larry Sinclair?
i don't know how you'd make it hi-tech but honest government would be something i'd like to see.
A big red button that turns the District of Criminals off