a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.


How Edward Teller was set up


Being on the board of the Hertz Foundation
W Daniel Hillis Scientist
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

Years and years later, I was actually on the board of the... of the Hertz Foundation and... with Edward Teller. And I became friends with Edward Teller, even though I have very ambivalent feelings about him, but he's a very sweet person in many ways. And... or was. And got to know... I got to know Edward Teller and Lowell Wood and so on, and came to really admire the Hertz Foundation, so I volunteered to be on the board. And then sure enough, at some point, somebody else wouldn't sign this same thing. And the board said, 'Well, we've already decided you can't get the fellowship unless you sign this.' And I was like, 'Well, excuse me, but I got the fellowship and I never signed it.' And they were, like, 'How could that have happened?' You know? And, 'Didn't we talk about this?' And it sort of began to come back to them and then Lowell Wood said, 'Yes, it was interesting. I do sort of remember us talking about that, but when I went to look at the file, it wasn't there.' And so... the file where they decided all that stuff just kind of disappeared, and somehow you ended up on the list. I now know Lowell well enough to kind of know what happened. And I was like, 'Well, so it was accidentally allowed and, you know, can't that just happen again?' And everybody said, 'Hmmm.' And they didn't vote on it and the person got the fellowship. But it's sort of built into the charter of the foundation that you have to sign this, but I... so it's happened at least one other time while I was on the board.

W Daniel Hillis (b. 1956) is an American inventor, scientist, author and engineer. While doing his doctoral work at MIT under artificial intelligence pioneer, Marvin Minsky, he invented the concept of parallel computers, that is now the basis for most supercomputers. He also co-founded the famous parallel computing company, Thinking Machines, in 1983 which marked a new era in computing. In 1996, Hillis left MIT for California, where he spent time leading Disney’s Imagineers. He developed new technologies and business strategies for Disney's theme parks, television, motion pictures, Internet and consumer product businesses. More recently, Hillis co-founded an engineering and design company, Applied Minds, and several start-ups, among them Applied Proteomics in San Diego, MetaWeb Technologies (acquired by Google) in San Francisco, and his current passion, Applied Invention in Cambridge, MA, which 'partners with clients to create innovative products and services'. He holds over 100 US patents, covering parallel computers, disk arrays, forgery prevention methods, and various electronic and mechanical devices (including a 10,000-year mechanical clock), and has recently moved into working on problems in medicine. In recognition of his work Hillis has won many awards, including the Dan David Prize.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes George Dyson

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: Hertz Foundation, Edward Teller, Lowell Wood

Duration: 1 minute, 50 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2016

Date story went live: 05 July 2017