Global environmental challenges
Stuart Gaffin is a climate researcher at Columbia University and a regular contributor with his blog “Exhausted Earth”. ThomsonReuters is not responsible for the content – the views are the author’s alone.
I finally made it over to the Whitney Museum retrospective on Buckminster Fuller before it closed (see my June 13th post about Fuller). Just before I did, however, I happened to come across a diatribe against him in the July 7 Weekly Standard , in response to the exhibit. This is a conservative commentary magazine that is a favorite of the Bush White House.
Highlights of the Weekly Standard piece include: “…Buckminster Fuller had been thankfully dormant for the past quarter century … one of the arch cranks of the sixties … You had to be either a drug-crazed hippie or a philosophical adherent of Flower Power to take Bucky seriously… a college dropout …Fuller was … the intellectual as confidence man …” (Wait didn’t they just mock him for being a college dropout?)
Try saying these things about Fuller to chemists Harold Kroto, Robert Curl and Richard Smalley. They won the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering a new class of compounds now called “Fullerenes” or “Buckyballs” (see the picture above of Robert Curl holding one) because they have a 60-carbon geodesic structure that Fuller realized had to be fundamental in nature. This posthumous Nobel-winning discovery alone is a legacy that any scientist would envy.