Obama cites 'Sputnik' moment, calls for investment

December 6, 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: Obama promotes clean energy; GOP hits Dem spending

Related Stories

Obama promotes clean energy; GOP hits Dem spending

October 2, 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)

April 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

October 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

November 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

November 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

June 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 video and data ...

Recommended for you

'Tully monster' mystery is far from solved, group argues

February 20, 2017

Last year, headlines in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Scientific American and other outlets declared that a decades-old paleontological mystery had been solved. The "Tully monster," an ancient animal that had long defied ...

Study on prehistoric violence published

February 20, 2017

A longtime Cal Poly Pomona anthropology professor who studies violence among prehistoric people in California has been published in a prestigious journal.

Mathematical models predict how we wait in line, traffic

February 17, 2017

As New Jersey drivers approach the George Washington Bridge to enter New York City, a digital sign flashes overhead with estimates of the delays on the upper and lower levels of the bridge. Most drivers choose the level with ...

Remembering the need to forget

February 17, 2017

We are built to forget – it is a psychological necessity. But in a social media world that captures – and, more importantly, remembers – everything we say and do, forgetting is becoming a thing of the past. If we lose ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.