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People: College-Skipping Nuclear Scientist

image from cdn.theatlantic.comMeet Taylor Wilson, 18, one of Atlantic Magazine's latest "Brave Thinkers," who at 14 built a nuclear fusion reactor and is taking one of those $100K Thiel Fellowships instead of going to college.

"I was about 10 when I got into nuclear science. That was when that spark hit me. It took a few years of research, but when I was 14, I produced my first nuclear-fusion reaction...

"When people have dedicated their lives to something—and spent eight years in college—they just expect that a kid wouldn’t be up to doing it. But kids have a certain predisposition to do things differently and see the world differently—and that’s helpful.

"I don’t mean to offend anybody, but I think that we get a lot of scientists now who are bent into a system, and we lose some of their boldness by that. Obviously, you have to learn the ropes, but I think it’s important to do that without hammering out the radicalness that makes innovation happen."


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Taylor Wilson is phenomenal. Being a scientist is great and achieving it without college education makes him even greater.

I totally agree with you. Taylor Wilson is one of a kind.

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