France and a new super R1 university…

From Inside Higher Education, here. Money quote:

Five grandes ├ęcoles (leading French universities) should be formally merged to form a Parisian science and technology university emulating the likes of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the French government has been told.

I think this quite a cool idea. And fits with President Macron’s recent interest in investing a lot of new money in science. Post-Brexit, France has a real opportunity in building a science powerhouse.

Fusion: just around the corner? Redux

This interesting news about a collaboration between MIT and Commonwealth Fusion Inc (at Nature and potentially behind a firewall for some readers). In any case, the key idea here is that a new generation of superconductors will be used to create a magnetic confinement for the hot fusion plasma.

Many years ago, before I went to graduate school, during an internship on the Hill, I got very interested in fusion. But that was several energy crises ago. These days I would be interested in fusion power as a potential play for mitigating climate change….or possibly Bitcoin mining (not).