About the Founder
Dr. Ye Tao
Dr. Ye Tao seeks to explain the mechanistic links between structure and function, across length scales and systems. Educated as a nanotechnologist and instrumentation expert, he brings the benefits of a multidisciplinary background in engineering and science to problem solving. That background includes formal training and research in combinatorial chemical syntheses, custom instrumentation design and fabrication, low-temperature experimental physics, mechanistic organic catalysis, semiconductor fabrication technologies, structural biology, and surface science.
Tao recently completed an appointment as a Fellow and Principal Investigator at the Rowland Institute at Harvard. That appointment, which marked the start of an independent career in 2016, gave Tao the opportunity to lead a team that designs and builds innovative tools for accessing new materials and precision measurement modalities. The team’s achievements in nanotechnology included the synthesis of a thin metal oxide (Ho₂O₃) with record-breaking magnetic properties, a demonstration of direct-write subtractive machining with atomic depth-resolution, and designing and fabricating metamaterial-based nanomechanical force sensors that are single-crystalline and highly sensitive.
In 2020, Tao founded the MEER:ReflEction Framework after grasping the accelerating and ultimate consequences of the climate crisis on Earth’s delicate web of life. Devoting himself full-time to its growth and research projects, he currently heads the organization. The agenda is bold and the vision is grand because the plight of Earth’s ecosystems requires bold and grand initiatives to protect them from collapse.
Tao's vision is capacious and comprehensive. It encompasses adaptation, mitigation, and ecosystems restoration. The Framework perforce includes a critique of dystopian social values such as those values that sustained the Industrial Revolution’s dark side and that now enable the hegemony of capital on a global scale.
“Stabilizers of the natural world and stewards of its ecosystems”—Tao uses these descriptors when communicating a new role for Homo sapiens. He identifies four essential actions for stimulating this transformation: 1) Appreciate Earth’s dynamic and delicate climate system; 2) be highly aware of our interconnectedness with all forms of life; 3) internalize the finiteness of Earth’s abiotic physical resources; and 4) bring about the simultaneous emergence of new social organizations and values, of democratically responsive and environmentally sensitive economies, of governments that adhere to the principles of physical science, and of fabrication technologies that maximize durability, efficiency, and quality.
Tao prioritizes fostering free access to science and engineering education through an open and global network that would allow students to earn a high school diploma, doctorate degree, or any credential in between. Unrestricted access to science-based education is the keystone of his exit program from our current trajectory and for moving us in the direction of carbon-neutrality, ecosystem recovery, and sustainability.