Obama cites 'Sputnik' moment, calls for investment

Dec 06, 2010
US President Barack Obama looks through a microscope as he tours a biotech classroom at Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Obama urged Monday a refocus on scientific research and teaching, as was triggered by the launch of the Soviet's 1957 Sputnik satellite, saying it was key to future US prosperity.

President Barack Obama urged Monday a refocus on scientific research and teaching, as was triggered by the launch of the Soviet's 1957 Sputnik satellite, saying it was key to future US prosperity,

Sputnik "was a wake-up call that caused the United States to boost our investment in innovation and education, particularly in and ," Obama said at a training center in the southeastern state of North Carolina.

"As a result, once we put our minds to it, once we got focused, once we got unified, not only did we surpass the Soviets, we developed new American technologies, industries and jobs," the US leader said.

Over 50 years later, a new "Sputnik moment" has arrived, said Obama.

"This is our moment. If the has taught us anything, it's that we cannot go back to an economy that's driven by too much spending, too much borrowing, running up credit cards... We've got to rebuild on a new and stronger foundation for ," he said.

"We need to do what America has always been known for: building, innovating, educating, making things."

The best solution antidote to a ballooning deficit, Obama said, is a growing economy.

"Cutting the deficit by cutting investments in areas like education, areas like innovation, that's like trying to reduce the weight of an overloaded aircraft by removing the engine," he said triggering laughter in the audience.

Obama, faced with a stiff battle in Congress over tax breaks and the prospect of political deadlock after Republicans won big in the recent midterm elections, vowed to "continue to fight" for investment in those fields, which, he said, will help America "win the race for the jobs and industries of the future."

Explore further: Best of Last Week - Zero friction quantum engine, twisted radio beams and Ebola outbreak update

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Obama promotes clean energy; GOP hits Dem spending

Oct 02, 2010

(AP) -- Wind, solar and other clean energy technologies produce jobs and are essential for the country's environment and economy, President Barack Obama said in promoting his administration's efforts.

Obama vows return to US science prominence (Update)

Apr 27, 2009

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

Obama meets Apple supremo Steve Jobs

Oct 22, 2010

US President Barack Obama met Apple chief executive Steve Jobs in the San Francisco area Thursday and discussed education and technology's role in the economy, the White House said.

US: China rise a 'Sputnik moment' for clean energy

Nov 30, 2010

A senior US official called China's growing innovation a "Sputnik moment" that should spur the United States to ramp up investment in clean energy, despite a shift in Washington on climate change.

Republicans could scale back US science budgets

Nov 10, 2010

Budgets for scientific research in the United States could be scaled back with the return of a Republican-majority in Congress as conservatives aim to slash spending to reduce the ballooning deficit.

Gov't plans to double available wireless spectrum

Jun 28, 2010

(AP) -- The Obama administration intends to nearly double the available amount of wireless communications spectrum over the next 10 years in an effort to keep up with the ever-growing demand for high-speed ...

Recommended for you

Ig Nobel winner: Using pork to stop nosebleeds

Sep 19, 2014

There's some truth to the effectiveness of folk remedies and old wives' tales when it comes to serious medical issues, according to findings by a team from Detroit Medical Center.

History books spark latest Texas classroom battle

Sep 16, 2014

As Texas mulls new history textbooks for its 5-plus million public school students, some academics are decrying lessons they say exaggerate the influence of Christian values on America's Founding Fathers.

Flatow, 'Science Friday' settle claims over grant

Sep 16, 2014

Federal prosecutors say radio host Ira Flatow and his "Science Friday" show that airs on many National Public Radio stations have settled civil claims that they misused money from a nearly $1 million federal ...

User comments : 0