Quotes of the week - “We will wield technology’s wonders . . .”
As U.S. president Obama was sworn into office on 20 January, he offered encouraging words to the scientific community:
"We'll restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories."
American scientists celebrated both at home and abroad as they listened to their new president highlight the importance of science and technology to our future.
"There was applause in the CERN cafeteria," said Elizabeth Clements of Fermilab, at CERN on a visit.
Two days later, Steven Chu, the new Energy Secretary, addressed the national laboratories. Chu identified energy as the defining issue of our time, and said that he had accepted the position largely to address environmental issues such as climate change and finding alternative energy sources.
He said the U.S. will need to rely on its national laboratories to develop a sound energy policy and to invent and transform new science and technologies that can be brought to the marketplace.
Chu's words may not appear to directly affect grid computing, but in his new role, he will oversee the Department of Energy's Office of Science, which runs the Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC) program. Computing is now recognized as an integral part of research. The Office of Science has also been working with the National Science Foundation to put cyberinfrastructure in the hands of a broad range of academic researchers to promote science and engineering.