Today we honor 14 remarkable men and women for extraordinary individual accomplishments, from discovering new ways to chart the universe to exploring the internal universe of human nature... By giving these awards we honor the American passion for discovery that has driven our nation forward from field to factory to the far reaches of cyberspace. This spirit of discovery will lead us into a new century and a new millennium.
-- President Clinton Dec. 16, 1997
Today, President Clinton presented awards to the Medals of Science and Technology winners and announced two new research and development partnerships. The new partnerships will leverage about $200 million in government and industry funds. Our investment in scientific research, technological innovation, and a healthy business environment, coupled with a strong commitment to education and human resources development, promotes the beneficial application of science and technology. As the President said, "These investments have surely paid off -- in higher paying jobs, better health care, stronger national security, and improved quality of life for all Americans.... They are critical to America's ability to maintain our leadership in cutting-edge industries that will power the global economy of the new century."
THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION'S RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT INVESTMENTS
For five years in a row, President Clinton has increased investments in science and technology.
(Budget authority, dollar amounts in millions) *Equipment and Facilities were not collected separately in 1993$96 MILLION IN NEW RESEARCH AND INVESTMENTS
Office of the Press Secretary
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT AT 1997 MEDALS OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AWARDS CEREMONY
Room 450 Old Executive Office Building
9:54 A.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Dr. Gibbons, Secretary Daley. I'm also delighted that Neal Lane, the Director of the National Science Foundation, and Dr. Harold Varmus, the Director of the NIH, are here with us, as well as the Chairman of the House Science Committee -- Congressman Sensenbrenner, thank you very much for being here.
Today we honor 14 remarkable men and women for extraordinary individual accomplishments, from discovering new ways to chart the universe to exploring the internal universe of human nature. We honor them, however, also for their collective achievement. By giving these awards we honor the American passion for discovery that has driven our nation forward from field to factory to the far reaches of cyberspace. This spirit of discovery will lead us into a new century and a new millennium.
This is a moment of great challenge for our nation, a time where we must rise to master the forces of change and progress as we move forward to the 21st century. Later this week I will announce or discuss the new economy, one of the most powerful forces of change. This morning I want to talk about the force of scientific and technological innovation. It is helping to fuel and shape that new economy, but its impact goes well beyond it.
For five years in a row, I have increased our investments in science and technology while bringing down the deficit, often in the face of opposition. These investments have surely paid off -- in higher paying jobs, better health care, stronger national security, and improved quality of life for all Americans. They are essential to our efforts to address global climate change, a process begun last week in Kyoto, with the strong leadership of the Vice President. They are critical to America's ability to maintain our leadership in cutting-edge industries that will power the global economy of the new century.
Half our economic growth in the last half-century has come from technological innovation and the science that supports it. The information, communications, and electronics industries already employ millions of Americans in jobs that can pay up to 73 percent above the national average. Firms that use advanced technologies are more productive and profitable than those which do not.
But technological innovation also depends upon government support in research and development. Let me give you just two examples.
Five years ago, the Internet was unknown to most Americans. Today, thanks to farsighted investments, tens of millions of Americans surf the web on a daily basis, and our investments in the next generation Internet will give our universities and national labs a powerful research and communication tool.
Five years ago, the mystery of the human genetic system was only partly known. Today, government-funded scientists have discovered genes linked to breast cancer and ovarian cancer, and our Human Genome Project is revolutionizing how we understand, treat, and prevent some of our most devastating diseases.
These ground-breaking innovations could not have happened without dedication, downright genius, and government investment. Today I'm pleased to announce $96 million in new research and investments to continue that progress.
First, the Defense Department will invest $14 million to help our universities, in partnership with private industry, to develop a new supercomputer on a chip, among other new projects. These chips will be no larger than my fingernail, but their computing power will be 25,000 times greater than this entire mainframe computer.
Let me try to illustrate -- this is the size of the chip. It equals 25,000 of those. Pretty good work. (Laughter.)
This technology, once developed, will make possible everything from faster, cheaper home computers to advanced weapons systems to cleaner, more efficient car engines and many, many others.
Second, the Commerce Department's Advanced Technology program will sponsor a series of private-sector competitions for $82 million in new grants to foster innovations like cleaner energy sources that reduce greenhouse gases, low-cost methods of producing life-saving drugs and radio-transmitting ID cards that can help to locate lost children, to name just a few. These investments will help to usher in a new era of discovery we can only dream of today.
Benjamin Franklin once said he was sorry to have been born so soon because he would not -- and I quote -- "have the happiness of knowing what will be known 100 years hence." It's hard to imagine what he would think if he were here, 200 years later. I'm sure he'd be filled with awe and pride that the American tradition of innovation he helped to establish is still driving our nation forward.
And who knows what will be known in only 25 years, whom we will be honoring -- the researchers who find cures for cancer; perhaps scientists who discover life on other planets; the engineers who devise new energy sources to preserve our environment and sustain our economy for generations to come. The discoveries of tomorrow will be made possible by the scientists of today, and by our continued commitment to their passionate quest.
Now, I am honored to present the men and women with the National Medals of Science and Technology. Please read the citations.
(The citations are read.)
Thank you all very much. Thank you.
** RECIPIENTS OF THE 1997 NATIONAL MEDAL OF SCIENCE **
WILLIAM K. ESTES (Harvard University)
For his fundamental theories of learning, memory, and decision. His
pioneering development and testing of mathematical models of psychological
processes have set the standard for theoretical progress in behavioral and
JAMES D. WATSON (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory)
For five decades of scientific and intellectual leadership in molecular biology, ranging from his co-discovery of the double helical structure of DNA to the launching of the Human Genome Project.
ROBERT A. WEINBERG (Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
For his contribution to the identification of cellular oncogenes and their role in cancer, which led to a better understanding of the molecular basis for cancer and its diagnosis and therapy.
DARLENE C. HOFFMAN (University of California, Berkeley--Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory--Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)
For her discovery of primordial plutonium in nature and the symmetric spontaneous fission of heavy nuclei, for pioneering studies of elements 104, 105, and 106, and for her outstanding service to education of students in nuclear chemistry and as director of the Seaborg Institute for Transactinium Science of the University of California.
HAROLD S. JOHNSTON (University of California, Berkeley)
For his major contributions to the chemical sciences in the areas of kinetics and photochemistry, and for his pivotal role in providing understanding and conservation of the Earth's atmospheric environment.
SHING-TUNG YAU (Harvard University)
For his fundamental contributions in mathematics and physics. Through his work, the understanding of basic geometric differential equations has been changed and he has expanded their role enormously within mathematics.
MARSHALL N. ROSENBLUTH (University of California, San Diego)
For his fundamental contributions to plasma physics, his pioneering work in computational statistical mechanics, his world leadership in the development of controlled thermo-nuclear fusion, and his wide-ranging technical contributions to national security.
GEORGE W. WETHERILL (Carnegie Institution of Washington)
For his fundamental contributions to understanding the measurement of geological time and understanding how earth-like planets may be created in evolving solar systems through collisional accumulation of smaller planetary bodies.
MARTIN SCHWARZSCHILD (Awarded posthumously (Princeton University))
For his seminal contributions to the theory of the evolution of stars, and his creative insights into galactic dynamics which form the basis of much of contemporary astrophysics, and his lifetime of dedication to students. His influence on U.S. astronomy in the second half of this Century is unsurpassed.
** RECIPIENTS OF THE 1997 NATIONAL MEDAL OF TECHNOLOGY **
General Product and Process Innovation
ROBERT S. LEDLEY (National Biomedical Research Foundation Georgetown University Medical Center)
For pioneering contributions to biomedical computing and engineering, including inventing the whole-body CT scanner which revolutionized the practice of radiology, and for his role in developing automated chromosome analysis for prenatal diagnosis of birth defects.
General Product and Process Innovation and Technology Transfer
RAY M. DOLBY (Chairman of the Board, Dolby Laboratories, Incorporated)
For inventing technologies that have dramatically improved sound recording and reproduction, fostering their adoption worldwide, and maintaining a vision that for more than 30 years has kept the world listening.
NORMAN R. AUGUSTINE (Chairman, Lockheed Martin Corporation-- Professor, Princeton University)
For visionary leadership of the aerospace industry, for championing technical and managerial solutions to the many challenges in civil and defense systems, and for contributions to the United States' world preeminence in aerospace.
Technology Transfer -- THE TEAM OF
VINTON GRAY CERF (Senator Vice President, Date Architecture MCI Communications Corporation) AND
ROBERT E. KAHN (President, Corporation for National Research Initiatives)
For creating and sustaining development of Internet Protocols and continuing to provide leadership in the emerging industry of internetworking.
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