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Message From The Vice President

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Message from the Vice President

Since the earliest days of our nation's birth, the American experience has been defined by our boundless search for new frontiers, our ceaseless quest for new discoveries, and our restless pursuit of new knowledge.

Today, perhaps more than at any time in our history, the strength of our economy, the health of our families, and the quality of our lives depend upon America's unmatched science and technology enterprise. At the dawn of a new century, much of our success in the years ahead will depend in large measure on the investments we make today in scientific research and technological innovation.

President Clinton and I are unequivocally committed to sustaining and nurturing U.S. scientific leadership across the frontiers of scientific knowledge. This is not merely a cultural tradition of our nation. It is an economic and security imperative. We must rise to this challenge while ensuring that our newest and most advanced technologies incorporate our oldest and most cherished values.

Whether measured in terms of discoveries, citations, or prizes, our country's prior investments have yielded a scientific and engineering enterprise without peer. Over the past several decades, public investments in research have helped America's scientists and engineers split the atom, splice the gene, explore the moon, invent the microchip, create the laser, and build the Internet — and in the process millions of good-paying jobs have been created.

To spur America's future achievements in science and engineering, the Administration has acted in a variety of roles: sustaining our research leadership position; strengthening a business environment that supports private sector research and development; investing in technological infrastructure; and advancing critical technologies, often in partnership with our universities and industries. The accomplishments and initiatives described in this report are representative of our research and development portfolio that has enjoyed broad bipartisan support.

It is, of course, impossible to accurately predict which areas of science and engineering will yield ground-breaking discoveries, what those inventions will be, how they will impact other scientific disciplines and, eventually, benefit our daily lives.

Who can be sure exactly what advances will be needed to maintain our national security and our strong economy, or clean up our environment and develop a healthier, better-educated citizenry?

What we can ensure is that America remains at the forefront of scientific capability by sustaining our investments in basic research, thereby enhancing our ability to shape a more prosperous future for ourselves, our children, and future generations while building a better America for the twenty-first century.

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