Catastrophe can be the mother of invention. That's why Caltech trustee Brad Jones feels optimistic in the face of climate change. Throughout history, according to the Manhattan Beach–based venture capitalist, people have solved major challenges by inventing things.
To that end, Jones has pledged $5 million to Caltech. Part of his gift endows the G. Bradford Jones Professorship, which Caltech's president and provost initially will use to support or recruit a top environmental scientist or engineer.
Looking forward, Jones says: "Efforts to decrease carbon emissions help, but not enough. I think we need new technologies that capture carbon to manage global warming. That's the kind of challenge that warrants the attention of people as smart as those at Caltech."
But he has an even broader vision for benefiting humanity. After 15 years, by his design, Caltech leaders will award the professorship in any field where breakthroughs can make a difference for the world.
In addition to the professorship, his pledge will create two G. Bradford Jones Fellowships, supporting graduate students in any discipline.