Obama Calls on NAS to Consider Robot Competitions

Posted 28 Apr 2009 at 19:51 UTC by steve Share This

Most of you will remember Obama's mention of the maker movement in his inaugural address. Now he's not only mentioned makers again but specifically called on the National Academy of Sciences to consider robotics competitions as one of several methods to inspire American students to pursue science and engineering.

"Think about new and creative ways to engage young people in science and engineering, like science festivals, robotics competitions, and fairs that encourage young people to create, build, and invent -- to be makers of things, not just consumers of things."

Needless to say, the folks at Make are pretty happy too. The current president has brought quite a change for those interested in science. He's reversed many of the previous administration's anti-science initiatives, issuing a memorandum calling for scientific integrity. At the NAS meeting he announced a major initiative to "boost research funding and bolster math and science education" which calls for at least 3 percent of the GDP to go toward funding basic science research, reversing the decline of recent years. To hear a mention of robotics on top of all that is very cool indeed. The full text of Obama's remarks to the NAS can be found online. Image above by flickr user NAS

Our RoboPrompter Overlords, posted 29 Apr 2009 at 01:54 UTC by Rog-a-matic » (Master)

Dang, I was hoping for a story about robotic teleprompters!

All Presidents mention programs like this.

By 'reversal of anti-science initiatives', you may be talking about programs that force tax-payers to pay for 'science' programs they philosophically oppose. Even though we may disagree on many of those, you should at least be able to accept their position as sincere and not a Neanderthalic attempt to quench all mighty science.

Let's apply the mantra diversity and tolerance to this topic too.

The decline you mention is probably in federal spending on science, but that I applaud. Centralization and the politicization that follows is not conducive to progress. I want to tinker in my small lab till midnight, not work for the federal government with umpteen paid vacation days.

The problem is not a lack of federal spending and control in our country, in science or elsewhere.

Now, if we can just get a 'memorandum' calling for integrity of our pubic officials, I'll be excited!

Re: Our RoboPrompter Overlords, posted 29 Apr 2009 at 04:09 UTC by steve » (Master)

ha, but how long has it been since we had a president who could mention stuff like this using complete sentences and pronouncing all the words correctly!

I bet many of them sincerely believed Neaderthals didn't exist, because we only know about them through scientific research. So let's say it was a bronze-age attempt to quench science. :)

The LHC cost what, 6 billion euros? Projects like that are incredibly important and I don't know any lone inventors tinkering in their garage who can afford to do that sort of research. So I'll have to disagree when you suggest governments shouldn't spend money on science.

Re: Our RoboPrompter Overlords, posted 29 Apr 2009 at 14:11 UTC by Rog-a-matic » (Master)

Except that speaking skills can be a contra-indicator of integrity in the political world.

Are you sure "many" people think Neanderthals didn't exist? Did you hear that on the Diane Rehm show? :)

I didn't say the federal government shouldn't spend money on science. Please reread.

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