Saturday, July 28, 2007

Genius Grants

While in Philadelphia this week I read an interesting article in the local newspaper about Shannen Rossmiller who is known as an expert "terrorist hunter." Then in today's newspaper a reader had a letter to the editor published which read:
"Will someone please nominate terrorist hunter Shannen Rossmiller for a Genius Grant?"
Joseph A. Ferry of Erdenheim, Pennsylvania
Mr. Ferry of course is referring the MacArthur Foundation's (based in Chicago) Fellows Program where they issue unrestricted grants of US$500,000 to individuals who exhibit --
"exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishment, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work. "
Mr. Ferry's letter made me wonder -- who/what types of people have won the MacArthur genius grants? After reviewing this list of award winners I noticed that there was not one government employee. This made me wonder -- is that good or bad and does this create an opportunity?
Perhaps the MacArthur Foundation should consider providing one or two of their future genius grants to promising individuals who serve in government roles. Such recognition has the potential to inspire an internal revolution in government since we are not getting an external revolution via the US Congress.
Waiting for my grant,
Todd

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

As I understand it, Genius Awards cannot be given to senior people in government or to those holding elective office. Reason is IRS concerns about potential influence.

jdsqrd said...

There was a system called TARDIS that was developed by gov employees using inexpensive COTS parts that some thought would be a great help to smaller communities. Refinement and widespread deployment was squashed because it competed with a much more expensive system Raytheon (STARS) was selling the gov.

Anonymous said...

Joseph Ferry of Erdenheim is a right-wing nut-job who clearly sits in his armchair and pontificates on his lack of manhood. He's a psycho nut-job who needs to get a job.