Obama Selects Nobel Prize Winning Nerd for Energy Chief

President-elect Barack Obama is said to be likely to name Steven Chu, the physicist who runs Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, as energy secretary.

Here are two things I like about this: (1) Chu believes science is real. (2) Chu believes climate change is real. Chu won the 1997 Nobel Prize in physics. If you were at a Christmas party with him and the topic of discussion shifted to atomic physics, he would pwn your ass real fast.

But he is not a politician. This fact worries some in Washington, because one of his first and most important tasks in early 2009 will be a landmark energy reform bill. More: CNN, NY Times, Reuters.

VIDEO: Chu speaking about "A New Energy Program," at the Climate Change and Global Politics Conference hosted by the World Affairs Council of Northern California.

UPDATE: Boing Boing pal Bart Nagel, who is a fine, fine photographer, shot this great portrait of Chu not long ago.