Obama promises major investment in science
National Academy of Sciences, 042709
"The days of science taking a back seat
to ideology are over."
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April 27, 2009
President said the investments he is proposing
would lead to breakthroughs
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President Barack Obama on Monday promised a
major investment in research and development for
scientific innovation, saying the United States has
fallen behind others.
"I believe it is not in our character, American char-
acter, to follow - but to lead. And it is time for
us to lead once again. I am here today to set this
goal: we will devote more than 3 percent of our
GDP to research and development," Obama said
in a speech at the annual meeting of the National
Academy of Sciences.
"We will not just meet but we will exceed the level
achieved at the height of the space race," he said.
Obama said the investments he is proposing would
lead to breakthroughs, such as solar cells as cheap
as paint and green buildings that produce all the
energy they consume.
The pursuit of discovery a half century ago fueled
the nation's prosperity and success, Obama told the
"The commitment I am making today will fuel our
success for another 50 years," he said. "This work
begins with an historic commitment to basic science
and applied research."
He set forth a wish list for the future including "learn-
ing software as effective as a personal tutor; pros-
thetics so advanced that you could play the piano
again; an expansion of the frontiers of human know-
ledge about ourselves and world the around us.
"We can do this," Obama said to applause.
"Science is more essential for our prosperity, our
security, our health, our environment, and our quality
of life than it has ever been," he said.
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