President Obama addressed the 146th annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences meeting this morning (audio here). The speech reaffirms the role and importance of science, indicating that “science is more important for our security, health and economy than ever before.” It also affirms the need to invest in science research, with a commitment to devote 3% of the Gross Domestic Product to science research.
“Yes, scientific innovation offers us a chance to achieve prosperity. It has offered us benefits that have improved our health and our lives — improvements that we take too easily for granted. But, it gives us something more. At root, science forces us to reckon with the truth as best we can ascertain it. Some thruths fill us with awe, others force us to question long-held views. Science can’t answer every question, and indeed it seems at times the more we plumb the mysteries of the physical world the more humble we must be. Science cannot supplant our ethics, our values, our principles or our faith, but science can inform those things, and help put those values, these moral sentiments, that faith, can put those things to work — to feed a child, to heal the sick, to be good stewards of this Earth. We are reminded that with each new discovery, and the new power it brings, comes new responsibility. That the fragility, the sheer specialness of life, requires us to move past our differences and to address our common problems, to endure, and continue humanity’s strivings for a better world.”
A full video of the speech is available here.