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 been created.
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.