Talking Innovation with Charlie Bolden

Meghan Fletcher photo

In our latest Talking Innovation session, ITI’s Dean Garfield sat down with NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden for a conversation that literally circled the universe.  In this exclusive interview, Bolden shares how he was inspired in his youth by teachers and parents that taught him to love math and the sciences, to what aeronautic technologies will be revolutionizing air travel in coming years, to what he hopes to find in the data sent back from Curiosity’s Mars exploration.

Read the below excerpts from our interview, and watch the Talking Innovation for the whole conversation.

 

On Innovation --

“NASA is an innovation engine for the government.   While some will not classify us technically as a research-and-development organization, that’s what we spend a lot of our time doing.”

 

On Public-Private Partnerships --

“A lot of the things we’re doing today -- because President Obama has really pushed -- is getting things that industry can do into their hands, and then we buy the service or we buy whatever the data is that we need…  We want to enhance the ability of private companies to build sensors and the like that we can then buy the data from them.”

“We join with industry in this public-private partnership that enables us to get where we know the nation needs to be.”

 

On STEM education --

“We have more content in terms of fostering an interest and an inspiration for STEM education than any other agency in the government…  We’re trying to equip [middle school teachers] with the courage to stand in front of a group of students and say ‘Math and science can be fun.  It’s difficult -- yes, but it can be fun.  And my job here is to help you fall in love with this stuff.’

“I have three lessons:  You have to study hard, you have to work hard, and you cannot be afraid of failure.”

 

Be sure to check out our other Talking Innovation conversations:

 

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