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Unread 04-27-2009, 11:07 PM
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The Time has come for U.S. Science

April 27, 2009 -- President Barack Obama pledged Monday to return the United States to a "high water mark" of scientific achievement, announcing an aim to commit three percent of GDP to research and development.

Obama laid out a deck of initiatives in a speech at the National Academy of Sciences, where he vowed to implement what he described as the largest-ever US investment in scientific research and a dramatic reversal of ideology-driven policies of his predecessor George W. Bush.

The clarion call for the country to regain its position as the world leader in scientific research and innovation came as the Obama administration faced its first major global health crisis in the recent deadly outbreak of swine flu in Mexico and the United States that threatens to burst into a pandemic.

"At such a difficult moment, there are those who say we cannot afford to invest in science, that support for research is somehow a luxury at a moment defined by necessities," Obama told hundreds of scientists, researchers and educators.

"I fundamentally disagree," he said. "Science is more essential for our prosperity, our security, our health, our environment, and our quality of life than it has ever been."

He said US health and science officials were "closely monitoring" the swine flu outbreak which has had 20 confirmed cases of the illness across five states, and prompted the federal government to declare a US health emergency.

Citing a plunge in federal funding of physical sciences as a portion of gross domestic product over the past 25 years, Obama warned that US achievement, particularly science and math study in US schools, dramatically lagged in the late 20th Century -- and threatened to fall even further behind other rapidly advancing nations.

Obama pointed to the US goal set in the 1950s to reach space and its commitment to leading the world in scientific innovation.

"That was the high water mark of America's investment in research and development. Since then our investments have steadily declined as a share of our national income," he said.

"I am here today to set this goal: we will devote more than three percent of our GDP to research and development. We will not just meet, but we will exceed the level achieved at the height of the space race."

Obama announced creation of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy, or ARPA-E, a new initiative called dedicated to "high-risk, high-reward research."

He also put forward his President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, a group of scientists and engineers Obama said would advise him on "national strategies to nurture and sustain a culture of scientific innovation."


Maybe jsut maybe some FIRST funding?

article link: http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2009/0...nvestment.html
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Unread 04-27-2009, 11:23 PM
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Re: The Time has come for U.S. Science

Obama's got to stop saying all of these FIRST like statements and should just give us money and show up at Championship.

By the way, did anyone else at Championship see the "Yes We Can" slide, followed by the helicopter noises outside and think / hope Obama was coming?
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Unread 04-27-2009, 11:28 PM
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Re: The Time has come for U.S. Science

I read the slide and heard the noises, but I never really linked the two together... It would have been awesome though!
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Unread 04-27-2009, 11:31 PM
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Re: The Time has come for U.S. Science

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris is me View Post
Obama's got to stop saying all of these FIRST like statements and should just give us money and show up at Championship.
You still need to recognize the fact that FIRST is actually still just a small part of the improvements we as a nation need to make in STEM. I so wish we would get government funding straight from the top, but in the long run, funding for a variety of educational foundations and funding for greater STEM education in our schools is better for the nation.

If anyone wants a nice clean debate, send me a PM. Me likie to debate.
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Unread 04-27-2009, 11:39 PM
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Re: The Time has come for U.S. Science

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Originally Posted by Chris is me View Post
By the way, did anyone else at Championship see the "Yes We Can" slide, followed by the helicopter noises outside and think / hope Obama was coming?
I did! And I kept saying "I sense Obama, he's gonna be here"

And then there was no guest speaker at all
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Unread 04-27-2009, 11:58 PM
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Re: The Time has come for U.S. Science

Saying and DOING are two different things. I'll believe it when I see it.

And Akash is right, FIRST is a pretty small thing as far as STEM goes. 10,000 people is nothing, I mean, in the long run. Yes it is important to us but if asked a person off the street would rather funding goes to schools over us. Just some food for thought.
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Unread 04-28-2009, 12:57 AM
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Re: The Time has come for U.S. Science

Well... MY hope is to see President Obama have great success. He is our president... BUT, this ...as has been pointed out, is a "Show Me The Money" moment. If it is important then invest! Promote Science and Technology, and do noting to hinder it. The two are a very difficult balance to achieve and it hasn't happened yet. FIRST is one way and there are others. Presidents Clinton, H.Bush and W.Bush have all given their seal of approval to FIRST Robotics and I expect President Obama to do the same eventually. But My litmus test is still "Show Me The Money."

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Unread 04-28-2009, 01:54 AM
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Re: The Time has come for U.S. Science

I think once Dean leads his march of FIRSTers on Washington D.C. .... things will change
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Unread 04-28-2009, 09:32 AM
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Re: The Time has come for U.S. Science

I believe that government is the problem, not the solution. It is up to us as leaders in our community to demand a better education for our children. We have a government that was built by people for the people, however they have lost sight of who they answer to.

If we really want to make a difference, then it is time for all of us to stop waiting for the government to do something and take action ourselves. Talk to your elected representatives and private industry. FIRST has a large community and if we all shout, then someone is bound to hear us!
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Unread 04-28-2009, 11:00 AM
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Re: The Time has come for U.S. Science

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lydia_1739 View Post
And then there was no guest speaker at all
We did have a guest speaker, except he wasn't a guest. His name was Dean Kamen and he had a very serious message, a very stern message. It was based on a story about the 3 little pigs and the houses they chose to build to sustain their quality of life and well-being.

It was a very simple message that holds a lot of truth regarding how we structure our lives, our economies as nations, and how we want to help build and re-build society from a local to a global level, using bricks.

When we are looking for ways to create presentations and promos for FIRST, we have to look no further than this speech to cull enough material to help develop an elevator speech, a promotional video, a doctoral thesis, a team challenge or goal, or simply to use as inspiration on a bad or boring day.

--
It appears that there is a lot of room for discussion regarding the topic of starting new teams and sustaining those that have already formed. It might be helpful to use a smaller brush with a finer point to paint our thoughts with instead of making such broad strokes. That will focus the discussion on how FIRST can continue to grow/spread while addressing the need for FRC teams to be sustainable in order to continue to develop.
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Unread 04-28-2009, 11:04 AM
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Re: The Time has come for U.S. Science

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Originally Posted by Tazlikesrobots View Post
I believe that government is the problem, not the solution. It is up to us as leaders in our community to demand a better education for our children. We have a government that was built by people for the people, however they have lost sight of who they answer to.

If we really want to make a difference, then it is time for all of us to stop waiting for the government to do something and take action ourselves. Talk to your elected representatives and private industry. FIRST has a large community and if we all shout, then someone is bound to hear us!
It sounds like you're contradicting yourself. If government isn't the answer, then why do we need to talk to elected leaders? Anyhow I won't feel like debating libertarianism right now, but it's an interesting point.

(by the way I wasn't really being too serious with my post above, except for the yes we can part)
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Unread 04-28-2009, 04:15 PM
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Re: The Time has come for U.S. Science

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris is me View Post
It sounds like you're contradicting yourself. If government isn't the answer, then why do we need to talk to elected leaders? Anyhow I won't feel like debating libertarianism right now, but it's an interesting point.

(by the way I wasn't really being too serious with my post above, except for the yes we can part)
I probably should have said it a different way, but basically the point I wanted to make is not sit around and wait for someone to fix the problem....
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Unread 04-28-2009, 04:28 PM
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Re: The Time has come for U.S. Science

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Originally Posted by Chris is me View Post
It sounds like you're contradicting yourself. If government isn't the answer, then why do we need to talk to elected leaders? Anyhow I won't feel like debating libertarianism right now, but it's an interesting point.
It's pretty simple. You talk to them to let them know that you don't want them in your business--or that you do.

I also don't want to discuss politics, but Andrew and Steve are correct. You've never heard of "campaign promises"? Those are classic political maneuvers to look good, but may not be followed through on (though it's in a candidate's/politician's best interest to at least try to follow through, due to this little thing called an election).

It's quite possible that something happens somewhere and the followthrough doesn't happen. On the other hand, it's also possible that the followthrough surprises us with its speed of execution.
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Unread 04-28-2009, 09:40 PM
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Re: The Time has come for U.S. Science

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Originally Posted by EricH View Post
On the other hand, it's also possible that the followthrough surprises us with its speed of execution.
Hehehehhe.....
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_...nnual-Meeting/
It also helps that he actually put a real scientist as the head of the department of energy. He's also tripled the budget for graduate fellowships. It seems like he is spreading out the wealth and not just actively supporting one specific part of the sucess of science in America.
Quote:
It's pretty simple. You talk to them to let them know that you don't want them in your business--or that you do.
When it comes to science government intervention is pretty much a must. A lot of weird and esoteric equipment like particle acellerators gets used in multiple fields that you will never ever ever find in the commercial sector and quite frankly you don't find many of in the government sectors either. In the above speech Obama refers to them as light sources even though technically they are particle accelerators.
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Unread 04-28-2009, 11:44 PM
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Re: The Time has come for U.S. Science

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_...nnual-Meeting/


thank you Adam Y. for finding this!

That has to be one of the top speechs I have ever heard about science (right next to Dean Kamen's this year). This speech is a must read!

My favorite part:
Quote:
We know that our country is better than this. A half century ago, this nation made a commitment to lead the world in scientific and technological innovation; to invest in education, in research, in engineering; to set a goal of reaching space and engaging every citizen in that historic mission. That was the high water mark of America's investment in research and development. And since then our investments have steadily declined as a share of our national income. As a result, other countries are now beginning to pull ahead in the pursuit of this generation's great discoveries.

I believe it is not in our character, the American character, to follow. It's our character to lead. And it is time for us to lead once again. So I'm here today to set this goal: We will devote more than 3 percent of our GDP to research and development. We will not just meet, but we will exceed the level achieved at the height of the space race, through policies that invest in basic and applied research, create new incentives for private innovation, promote breakthroughs in energy and medicine, and improve education in math and science. (Applause.)

This represents the largest commitment to scientific research and innovation in American history.

Just think what this will allow us to accomplish: solar cells as cheap as paint; green buildings that produce all the energy they consume; learning software as effective as a personal tutor; prosthetics so advanced that you could play the piano again; an expansion of the frontiers of human knowledge about ourselves and world the around us. We can do this.







http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_...nnual-Meeting/
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