The article goes on to discuss his efforts in STEM outreach and education. I liked this quote too:
He has been called an idealist, an optimist, and occasionally even naïve for his big ideas about fixing the world’s problems. Kamen says he sometimes even wonders himself. 'I think, well, if with all their resources the United Nations and everyone can’t do it, I must really be nuts trying to do it myself—I’m just some guy from New Hampshire.'"
Image by James Young Art
"'You get what you celebrate' is a common catchphrase of Kamen’s. He has noticed a crisis in United States culture: young kids are growing up excited about being football stars and actors, not engineers or scientists. Despite the one-in-a-million chance of succeeding in show business or professional sports, our society encourages kids to prioritize these dreams over other options. Celebrating Britney Spears and Shaquille O’Neal over our inventors, scientists, and engineers skews too many kids away from careers in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, resulting in a nationwide shortage of engineers and scientists and a drop in our global standing in technology development. The solution, obviously, is to change our culture."Indeed! (Though I'm not sure I buy the shortage part. IEEE has a bit of a bias here.)