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Photo of Arden Bement

Dr. Arden L. Bement, Jr.
National Science Foundation

Opening Remarks
2004 Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers

National Science Foundation
June 14, 2005

Good morning. It is my pleasure to welcome the 2004 PECASE awardees, and their families and friends, to NSF.

Though we can't promise as much glamour and excitement as the White House, at least here you won't get tackled for jumping the fence. In fact, we encourage fence-leaping, boundary-crossing, star-gazing, and generally thinking outside the box.

Your visit to Washington reflects the premium we place on imaginative thinking here at NSF and among our community of grantees.

As winners of Presidential Early Career Awards, you represent the most promising signs of progress in U.S. science and engineering. And progress is NSF's primary concern.

From the beginning of your career, you demonstrated a commitment to invigorating the science and engineering enterprise, through both research and education. And so, you were singled out from a nationwide pool of candidates to receive CAREER grants.

Last year, you were selected to receive the PECASE award, the highest honor the United States bestows on promising young scientists and engineers.

You are bright stars in the NSF galaxy -- the luminaries who will contribute breakthroughs that elevate national prosperity and garner global prestige.

Let me offer my congratulations for the outstanding research and education for which you earned this award. We extend to each of you an invitation to develop a lifelong partnership with NSF. As the federal science and engineering agency, we serve as one of your conduits to policymakers and the populace.

Here's what you can contribute to this partnership with your nation:

  • Continue to conduct outstanding science and engineering at the frontier.

  • Incorporate education into your research activity.

  • Reach out to local schools, to get students thinking about science and engineering at an early age.

  • Reach out to the public, with clear communication about your research.

  • Serve as leaders and role models in your laboratories, universities, communities, and states.

Here's what NSF can do to facilitate this partnership:

  • Serve as senior partner in supporting research at the frontiers of science and engineering.

  • Help determine which areas of research should become national priorities.

  • Expand your local successes in education into nationwide educational reforms.

  • Raise awareness among the American people of how hard you are working to improve their physical, social, and economic well-being.

  • Engage policymakers in Washington, DC, in efforts to sustain the national science and engineering enterprise.

This week's ceremonies will be front-page news in your hometowns. Let me assure you that your accomplishments are just as important to decision-makers in your state capitals and in Washington.

They are the officials responsible for making sure the United States can compete globally in math, science, engineering, and technology.

You are the stars they will turn to -- the researchers and educators whom we know will expand the orbit of our nation's enterprise.

Again, congratulations on your awards. We hope to see much more of you in the future.



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