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Posted: April 7, 2008
Science officials ask presidential candidates to set a national priority
(Nanowerk News) An open letter naming leading scientists has been sent to three presidential candidates, the Associated Press, leading national newspapers, and to be read on the BIZ Radio Network. In it, scientific conference organizers asked that high-tech education be given absolute top priority from the White House.
The letter reads: “As you aspire to the highest office of our land, asking the electorate to bestow its trust, we need a single national priority as your most important campaign issue. The next President won’t need permission from congress to provide spiritual leadership to bring America out from the gravest challenge of our time.
“Every year, at our respected conference on emerging and nano technologies held in Dallas, Nobel Laureates and other top minds in science gather to share their insights on the world’s problems. Each year the conference ends with one unanimous and overriding theme, and the call becomes louder each year: That unless something is done through a national priority, our falling behind in science education is dooming this country to a bleak future.
“Now a keynote speaker at this year’s event, scientist/businessman William Kroll, chairman of Matheson Tri-Gas and who served on the Commission of Outsourcing and Off-shoring for the governor of New Jersey, is driving the message home again. ‘We are not proliferating graduation of enough scientists or engineers that we should in the United States,’ Kroll this week told officials planning the conference, and added ‘Washington doesn’t do a very good job, especially after 9-11, of trying to reconcile the fact that we are not making it easy to hire young men and women to come to this country to be educated in math and science, only to find out that when they get their degree that they have to leave because we only allow (so few) to stay here and work for an American company.’
“While we have a flawed foreign policy on these workers, as Kroll pointed out, we have a domestic problem with US students, ‘we’re not doing a very good job of graduating teachers (in math and science), and now they’re not making (those subjects) very interesting for the students, and we sort of over-glamorize the other (careers). Let’s face it, all you have to look at if you want to see what kids study today is whatever they perceive will be the easiest thing to get the job with the most amount of money.’
“If you want to be our President, what the American people desperately need is for you to place this issue at the top of your platform, as John Kennedy did with the man-on-the-moon program in the 1960s. That is the real war we need to fight. Families, households, communities throughout our cities and across these great states, all in a war-like stance to bridge our vast education divide and save the world. But this leadership must come from the top, from you.
“ ‘Anything we can do to capture the imagination of our young children … will help … and right now we aren’t doing that,” Kroll said. “If we don’t do that … we’re going to find that we will be outsourcing … to countries where we’re going to have to buy the technology.’
“The father of modern day nanotechnology, the late Nobel Laureate Rick Smalley of Rice University in Houston, called out to our leaders in Washington constantly up until his death in 2006. His message echoes more clearly every day, that when this country is united in its dedication to technology education it will mean the solution to the energy problem, and abundant energy will then solve all the other problems of the world: water, famine, disease, and in achieving those, we can bring an end to terrorism and even war itself. Then united, this world can finally be free to address global warming.
“Nobel Laureate Michael Brown, of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, said at our recent conference that when he has broached this question with high members of the US government their excuse to shy from such a campaign is the fear of failure. ‘How can we set such lofty goals and then explain to the American people why we couldn’t do it?’ Brown says they tell him. But Dr. Brown and our other scientists scoff at this, knowing that if we don’t try, failure is guaranteed. ‘I just can’t see the logic,’ Brown told us.
“Daring to speak for scientists everywhere, we desperately need your leadership. Solve this problem and together we will solve all the others.
“The person who will occupy the office you seek must steal a page from John Kennedy and set the goal as a national priority, a dedicated drive like no other to inspire and educate minds in science and technology. Which one of you will be that leader?”
About nanoTX USA’08
nanoTX USA is an international conference and trade expo held each early Autumn in Dallas, Texas, and is the centermost nanotechnology event in the Americas during International Nanotechnology Week™, this year October 2-3. The event highlights advances in nanoscience, explains how nanotechnology is being used today and how it will impact a broad range of industries tomorrow, including: electronics, energy, aerospace, defense, biomedicine, robotics, chemicals and more.
Exhibitor highlights, speakers, the latest on emerging business and nano technology, and other top minds at this event, are featured each week exclusively on the BIZ Radio Network. Learn details and hear archived programs at www.PromiseOfTomorrow.biz
As the most comprehensive nanotechnology conference and exposition in the American hemisphere, nanoTX USA partners globally with nano tech Japan, the largest and most successful nanotechnology event in the world and held in Tokyo early each year.
nanoTX USA has established a reputation for delivering solid content, compelling panel discussions, early-stage investment opportunities and a world-class roster of presenters. For more information and to register, please visit www.nanotx.biz.