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Science wunderkind urges making science beneficial to humanity

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Taylor Wilson
Taylor Wilson, 22, is an American nuclear physicist and science advocate.
Taylor Wilson | Creative Commons

Taylor Wilson astounded the science world when he built a bomb at age 10, and at age 14 became the youngest person in history to produce fusion. The young nuclear scientist is still only 22, and he believes science can potentially solve some of the most important problems of our time.

Wilson believes we can revolutionize the way we produce energy and clean water, fight cancer and combat terrorism. While he says we need more focus on science, and on facts, Wilson says more people in the sciences need to "realize their humanity," and more people in the humanities need to "realize the sciences."

Part of what Wilson does is basic science — studying the forces of the universe and how they work. The other part of his work is applied science — how you can take that knowledge and transform it into something useful for mankind.

"And what I've found is there are very few problems that we face as a society, at least the big ones, that science can't in some way inform and try to solve," Wilson said.

Wilson spoke November 15, 2016 at the Clinton School of Public Service in Arkansas.

To listen to his speech, click the audio player above.

Further reading

• Behold: 4 new species of tiny frogs smaller than a fingernail

• Climate change: Taking in snow requires perspective from space

• Ethics: Scientific panel says editing heritable human genes could be OK in the future

• More from MPR News Presents

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