7. PROMOTING RESEARCH
Over the past fifty years our commentment to science has strengthened this country in countless ways. Scientific research has created vast new industries, millions of jobs, allowed America to produce the world's most bountiful food supplies and remarkable tools for fighting disease. Think of what today's investments will yield.
In the last one hundred years, science and technology have fundamentally transformed our lives, from the ways we travel and communicate, to the food we eat; from the manner in which we learn, to the quality of our health care and our ability to create a cleaner environment. The next century offers new fields of research and innovation and potential solutions to some of society's most pressing challenges. Technological advances continue to strengthen the ties between Americans and the rest of the world, enabling new business endeavors, providing access to news and information from anywhere on the globe, and improving cultural understanding. As the forces of innovation and globalization gain momentum, the 21st Century promises to be an era of great opportunity for the entire world, propelled by new and remarkable developments.
In the latter half of this century, the Federal Government has played a critical role in spurring and sustaining scientific and technological advances. Among other feats, Government-sponsored research and development put Americans on the moon, explored the oceans, boosted agricultural productivity, harnessed the atom, devised more effective treatments for cancers, found the remains of lost civilizations, tracked weather patterns and earthquake faults, created the Internet, and deciphered the chemistry of life. Numerious studies show technological innovation and scientific discovery generated at least half of the Nation's productivity growth over the last 50 years, created millions of high-skill, high-wave jobs, and improved the quality of life in America.
In the last year alone, research and development have produced numerous impressive results, including the first photograph of a planet outside our own solar system, the creation of the world's fastest supercomputer, the identification of the gene that causes Parkinson's Disease, and a host of other notable achievements.
The future holds even greater possibilities. Scientists and engineers in many disciplines are within reach of even more exciting advances. Building on decades of experimentation and theoretical developments, they will be able to rely on new and sophisticated research tools for future discoveries - supercomputers that can make trillions of calculations in a second, particle accelerators and electron microscopes that can decipher atoms and the nature of matter, and space telescopes that can reach to parts of the universe previously unexplored. In particular, computational science - supercomputer modeling of extremely complex systems such as the global climate, the human body, and galaxies - is emerging as a new and significant branch of research, providing insights not likely to occur through experimentation or theorizing alone.
Continued leadership in science and technology is a cornerstone of the President and the Vice President's vision for America. During the past six years, the Administration has provided substantial growth for science and technology programs. The budget strengthens these vital investments, contributing to many broader Administration goals for the economy, education, health care, the environment, and national defense. The budget also takes steps to ensure that everyone - regardless of economic status, education, location, gender, ethnicity or race - can reap the benefits of technological innovation.