Hope for American Science

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Congratulations to Matthew Feddersen (left) and Blake Marggraff (second from left), both 18 years old, of Lafayette, California, on taking first prize in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair yesterday.

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Their project, described at the Intel site, involves a potentially more effective and less expensive cancer therapy. The winners receive a $75,000 prize and the Gordon Moore Award, named for one of the founders of Intel. Teams from China, India, South Korea, Thailand, and the U.S. were among the finalists in 17 different science and engineering categories.

I take general "no man is an island" pride in this achievement; plus pride as an American, a Californian, and so on. But more specifically: Jim Marggraff, Blake's father, is the inventor of (among many other products) the Livescribe pen, as I have described in an Atlantic article and several times on our site. He has become a friend and a member of the extended Atlantic family. I met Blake last summer, when he was helping his father demonstrate the pens. It's wonderful to see this kind of achievement and effort recognized. Congratulations to him and Matthew Feddersen. And -- speaking from experience! -- I prepare Jim Marggraff for the upcoming pleasure of being identified as, "Oh, are you xxxx's father?" It's a nice way to be known. Congratulations.
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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.
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