Support The World's Smartest Network

Help the New York Academy of Sciences bring late-breaking scientific information about the COVID-19 pandemic to global audiences. Please make a tax-deductible gift today.

This site uses cookies.
Learn more.


This website uses cookies. Some of the cookies we use are essential for parts of the website to operate while others offer you a better browsing experience. You give us your permission to use cookies, by continuing to use our website after you have received the cookie notification. To find out more about cookies on this website and how to change your cookie settings, see our Privacy policy and Terms of Use.

We encourage you to learn more about cookies on our site in our Privacy policy and Terms of Use.

Is High-Risk, High-Reward Science a Good Bet?

Find out on May 16 at the New York Academy of Sciences.

Published May 10, 2012

NEW YORK, May 10, 2012—On May 16, join the New York Academy of Sciences, Research Corporation for Science Advancement, and DISCOVER magazine in a discussion about the exciting topic of high-risk, high-reward science. Unconventional approaches to science and engineering have the potential to radically change our understanding of the world and the way we do things. But are these changes the result of random "Eureka!" moments, or is it possible to cultivate such leaps? Find out at Crazy or Brilliant: Betting on High-Risk, High-Reward Science.

"A brilliant idea is irrelevant if it languishes in a journal or on a bookshelf. Often it takes an equally brilliant business person to show the world its true potential," says Corey S. Powell, Editor-in-Chief of DISCOVER magazine, who will moderate the evening's discussion. It may be this precise combination of boundary-pushing science and business acumen that leads to innovation.

"We live in a world defined by breakthrough discoveries, but most of our institutions are geared toward preserving the status quo, not breaking it. So we've called together a group of experts in what you might call 'controlled destruction'—people who know the right way to take a leap into the unknown," says Powell.

The panel will feature Jon Gertner, author of the recent bestselling book The Idea Factory; renowned theoretical physicist Brian Greene; technology investment expert Shelley Harrison; and nanoscientist Michal Lipson, winner of a MacArthur Genius Award and the New York Academy of Sciences Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists.

Join the Academy to learn what it takes to develop more creative leaps in science and technology and why crazy ideas can sometimes pay off. For more information, visit

Media must RSVP to Diana Friedman (; 212.298.8645).

About Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA)
Research Corporation for Science Advancement (—formerly known as Research Corporation—is the oldest foundation in the nation devoted wholly to science. Celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, RCSA is a leading advocate for the sciences and a major funder of scientific innovation and of research in America's colleges and universities. 

About DISCOVER magazine
Now in its 32nd year of publication, DISCOVER is America's leading popular science magazine. Every year more than six million people read it to learn about the scientific, medical, and technological breakthroughs that are transforming our lives. Another two million visitors join us at our companion web site, In a media landscape awash with unfiltered news and hastily formed opinion, DISCOVER cuts through the clutter and provides an elegant and informed look at the ideas that really matter. 

About the New York Academy of Sciences
The New York Academy of Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit organization that since 1817 has been committed to advancing science, technology, and society worldwide. With 25,000 members in 140 countries, the Academy is creating a global community of science for the benefit of humanity. The Academy's core mission is to advance scientific knowledge, positively impact the major global challenges of society with science-based solutions, and increase the number of scientifically informed individuals in society at large. Please visit us online at