Does A Nobel Prize Help? : Planet Money The new chief of the Department of Energy has economic challenges ahead.
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Does A Nobel Prize Help?

Steve Chu, the physicist and Nobel laureate who will be running the Department of Energy has some tough economic challenges ahead, finding a way to make renewable energy affordable among them.

I've talked to him a couple times over the years and Chu seems wisely skeptical of miracle cures.

When researches claimed a while back that they had made a laser pulse move faster than the speed of light, I called him up. Chu was quick to testify that this was a silly parlor trick:

"OK, it's surprising for a little while, but after the dust settles, you have to ask, 'Did we learn any new science?' or, 'Is it going to be good for anything?' And I can answer at least the first part. We did not learn any new science."

That story is here. Chu recently told NPR there is no hiding from global warming.