Obama's teleprompter commits mutiny during major science speech
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I want you to know that I'm going to be working alongside you. I'm going to participate in a public awareness and outreach campaign to encourage students to consider careers in science and mathematics and engineering -- because our future depends on it.Skip to next paragraph
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And the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation will be launching a joint initiative to inspire tens of thousands of American students to pursue these very same careers, particularly in clean energy.
It will support an educational campaign to capture the imagination of young people who can help us meet the energy challenge, and will create research opportunities for undergraduates and educational opportunities for women and minorities who too often have been underrepresented in scientific and technological fields, but are no less capable of inventing the solutions that will help us grow our economy and save our planet. (Applause.)
And it will support fellowships and interdisciplinary graduate programs and partnerships between academic institutions and innovative companies to prepare a generation of Americans to meet this generational challenge.
For we must always remember that somewhere in America there's an entrepreneur seeking a loan to start a business that could transform an industry -- but she hasn't secured it yet. There's a researcher with an idea for an experiment that might offer a new cancer treatment -– but he hasn't found the funding yet. There's a child with an inquisitive mind staring up at the night sky. And maybe she has the potential to change our world –- but she doesn't know it yet.
As you know, scientific discovery takes far more than the occasional flash of brilliance –- as important as that can be. Usually, it takes time and hard work and patience; it takes training; it requires the support of a nation. But it holds a promise like no other area of human endeavor.
In 1968, a year defined by loss and conflict and tumult, Apollo 8 carried into space the first human beings ever to slip beyond Earth's gravity, and the ship would circle the moon 10 times before returning home. But on its fourth orbit, the capsule rotated and for the first time Earth became visible through the windows.
Bill Anders, one of the astronauts aboard Apollo 8, scrambled for a camera, and he took a photo that showed the Earth coming up over the moon's horizon. It was the first ever taken from so distant a vantage point, and it soon became known as "Earthrise."
Anders would say that the moment forever changed him, to see our world -- this pale blue sphere -- without borders, without divisions, at once so tranquil and beautiful and alone.
"We came all this way to explore the moon," he said, "and the most important thing is that we discovered the Earth."
Yes, scientific innovation offers us a chance to achieve prosperity. It has offered us benefits that have improved our health and our lives -- improvements we take too easily for granted. But it gives us something more. At root, science forces us to reckon with the truth as best as we can ascertain it.
And some truths 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 or 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, or 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.
As President Kennedy said when he addressed the National Academy of Sciences more than 45 years ago: "The challenge, in short, may be our salvation."
Thank you all for all your past, present, and future discoveries. (Applause.) May God bless you. God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)