Provide everyone on earth with affordable energy without contributing to climate change.
Develop a vaccine for HIV and a cure for neurodegenerative diseases.
Protect the world from future health epidemics, which might be more infectious than Ebola and more deadly than Zika.
Give every student and teacher new tools so all students get a world-class education.
I agree with him that the government should be supporting research in the first three arenas he suggests. However, his argument for educational technology is not very strong. He writes:
Technology can make teachers’ jobs easier and their work more effective by letting them upload videos of themselves in the classroom, connect with other teachers, watch the best educators at work, and get real-time feedback from their students. The private sector has started work on these ideas, but funding for government research budgets would boost the market and help identify the most effective approaches, giving teachers and students new tools that empower them to do their best work.
But while he suggests that these technologies are “in their infancy,” actually, everything he mentions has been around for a decade or more. Let’s look at his concrete ideas: