“I just want everyone to know that my decision not to serve a second term as Energy Secretary has absolutely nothing to do with the allegations made in this week’s edition of the Onion. While I’m not going to confirm or deny the charges specifically, I will say that clean, renewable solar power is a growing source of US jobs and is becoming more and more affordable, so it’s no surprise that lots of Americans are falling in love with solar.”
His wife purportedly expressed skepticism: "Is that really you? You don't have hair on your chest."
In a sense, Prof. Steve Chu's stint in Washington D.C. does indeed feel like the Frank Capra's movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. He even showed an excerpt of it (2m16s until about 2m37s). The naïve and nerdy physicist who's an ardent advocate for renewable energy and had to be forced to talk about the oil and gas industries as SoE.
"[Refrigerator size] is not plateauing because of the size of the American appetite. It's plateauing because of the size of the kitchen door."
He clearly enjoyed his time at Bell Labs. Of the "flat structure where everyone argued about ideas but respected one another as people." I wish I could always find such places to do my work in... If there are more articulate scientists with social conscience, perhaps the Earth would not be totally destroyed after all...
At the end of the talk, he quoted Apollo 8 astronauts and showed the entirety of Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot.