A Shared Commitment

We have outlined a broad program for advancing science in the national interest. We do so because science and technology depend on one another for continuous advancement and, in turn, are important for the health, prosperity and security of Americans. We do so because research at the frontiers of human knowledge provides unparalleled education for the young scientists and engineers who will help shape the nation's future. We do so to learn more about the world around us and about ourselves.

The public investment is returned ultimately through improvements in the quality of life. We recognize that science is but one part of a larger enterprise, and so our policies in science, technology, education, government performance, environmental protection, health care, international trade, information and communications, intellectual property protection, regulation, fiscal and monetary affairs, and other areas must work together. A thread running through this complex fabric of policy guidance is the pressing need for raising the scientific and technical literacy of the next generation to twenty-first century standards. This is essential for the continued enlightened support of the scientific enterprise by the American people. More important, it is critical for the nation's future.

We must all go forward with a sense of shared commitment to common goals and to excellence. The policies outlined here are only the beginning of a process. Strong federal investment and new partnerships will be essential. Our scientific and technical communities represents an enormous reservoir of talent, dedication and drive. We challenge them to continue their vigorous exploration of the frontiers of scientific knowledge and simultaneously to ensure that all Americans share their vision of the excitement, the beauty, and the utility of science in achieving our national goals. If they, government, and the nation as a whole accept the challenges set forth here and meet them together, our children and grandchildren will have a secure foundation on which to build their futures.