OSTP Director John Holdren holds forth in two Beltway publications today. In an op-ed for Politico entitled “The Science Budget and the Future,” he spotlights a number of FY2011 budget priorities geared towards science, engineering, and innovation and the importance they hold for our national well being and economic future.
President Barack Obama understands the importance of the leadership role the federal government must play in nurturing the science and engineering capabilities needed to meet the challenges before us. That is why his recently released budget for fiscal year 2011 provides continued strong, strategic investments in this area, despite the overall budget austerity that our country’s fiscal circumstances require. Now we need Congress to match the president’s leadership, so that this budget’s vision for investing in science, engineering, innovation and education becomes a reality.
Dr. Holdren has also co-authored with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan an op-ed in today’s issue of The Hill that highlights the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. “How the U.S. Can Stay on Top” introduces Li Boynton and Gabriela Farfan, the two young women science students who joined the First Lady in the President’s box during the State of the Union address. It details this Administration’s Educate to Innovate initiative and events promoting STEM education, such as Astronomy Night on the White House lawn, National Lab Day, and the Education Department’s Race to the Top program.
When we were elementary and high school students, neither of us had any idea that we would someday be secretary of education or serve in the White House as the president’s science adviser. But like Li Boynton and Gabriela Farfan, we were fortunate to have excellent teachers and well-equipped schools that nourished our curiosity and cultivated in us a passion for learning. Today we owe it to students like Li and Gabriela — and to the nation and the world — to keep that chain of opportunity alive by boldly supporting the innovative teachers and schools that will help make America, as the president has urged, once again a nation of creators and not just consumers.