The President's View
(excerpted from remarks at the MIT commencement, June 6, 1998)
[W]e must help you to ensure that America continues to lead the revolution in science and technology. Growth is a prerequisite for opportunity, and scientific research is a basic prerequisite for growth. Just yesterday in Japan, physicists announced a discovery that tiny neutrinos have mass. Now, that may not mean much to most Americans, but it may change our most fundamental theories -- from the nature of the smallest subatomic particles to how the universe itself works, and indeed how it expands.
This discovery was made, in Japan, yes, but it had the support of the investment of the U.S. Department of Energy. This discovery calls into question the decision made in Washington a couple of years ago to disband the Super-conducting Supercollider, and it reaffirms the importance of the work now being done at the Fermi National Acceleration Facility in Illinois.
The larger issue is that these kinds of findings have implications that are not limited to the laboratory. They affect the whole of society -- not only our economy, but our very view of life, our understanding of our relations with others, and our place in time.
The full text is of the President's address is also available.