Like four years ago, my good friend David Levermore (U Maryland) and I joined the crowd that gathered on the National Mall in Washington, DC, yesterday to be part of the inauguration of President Barack Obama. It was a great experience sharing in the excitement as the crowd responded to introductions and stirring prose.
Here is a paragraph that relates directly to what MPE2013 is all about:
“We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.”
This was also probably the first inaugural address to mention mathematics and science:
“No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores.”