A number of these important people went to dinner on Tuesday. I was sitting with program directors from two US national labs, an IEEE fellow and ex-Bell Labs guru, a university professor, and two industry representative. There was one more guy with us: he was the driver of the bus that took everyone from ORNL to the restaurant. As the casual conversation went on, the important people came to know of this fact one after the other. Each had their own way of reacting - some just turned their head and never looked back at the poor guy again, others tried to "dumb down" their conversation but quickly lost interest etc.
One thing was common: they had the shock of their life.