Message from the Vice President
Since the earliest days of our nations 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 Americas 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 countrys prior investments have yielded a scientific and engineering
enterprise without peer. Over the past several decades, public investments in
research have helped Americas 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
To spur Americas 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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