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Randomly Generated Public Paper from Today's Date in History
Barack Obama: 2009-present
Remarks on Presenting the National Medals of Science and National Medals of Technology and Innovation
November 17th, 2010

The President. Thank you so much, everybody. Thank you. Wonderful to see you. Please, everyone sit down, sit down. We've got a lot of work to do here. [Laughter] Have a seat.

Welcome to the White House. It is a great honor to be joined by so many leading researchers and innovators. I want to give some special thanks to a few members of my Cabinet, Members of Congress who are here today. Secretary Gary Locke, our Commerce Secretary, is here. Members of Congress: We have Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Bart Gordon of Tennessee. Please give them a big round of applause for their great work.

We also have NASA Administrator Bolden, who is here--Charlie. Dr. Subra Suresh, who's the Director of our National Science Foundation, is here. Mr. Dave Kappos, who's the Director of the Patent and Trademark Office, he was here--he may have had some work to do; Dr. Patrick Gallagher, who's the Director of our National Institute of Standards and Technology; and Dr. Larry Strickling, Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

Now, the achievements of the men and women who are onstage today stand as a testament to the ingenuity, to their zeal for discovery, and to the willingness to give of themselves and to sacrifice in order to expand the reach of human understanding.

All of us have benefited from their work. The scientists in this room helped develop the semiconductors and microprocessors that have propelled the information age. They've modeled the inner workings of the human mind and the complex processes that shape the Earth's climate. They've conducted pioneering research, from mathematics to quantum physics, into the sometimes strange and unexpected laws that govern our universe.

Folks here can also claim inventions like the digital camera, which has revolutionized photography--as all these folks back here will testify--[laughter]--as well as superglue, which, in addition to fascinating children--[laughter]--has actually saved lives as a means of sealing wounds. And the men and women we celebrate today have helped to unlock the secrets of genetics and disease, of nanotechnology and solar energy, of chemistry and biology, breakthroughs that provide so many benefits and hold so much potential, from new sources of electricity to new ways of diagnosing and treating illness.

Along the way, many of these folks have broken down barriers for women and minorities, who've traditionally been underrepresented in scientific fields, but obviously are no less capable of contributing to the scientific enterprise. Just as an example, at the start of her career, decades ago, Esther Cornwell [Conwell]* was hired as an assistant engineer, but soon after, she was told that this position wasn't open to a woman. She had to serve as an engineer's assistant instead. Of course, that didn't stop her from becoming a pioneer in semiconductors and materials science.

It's no exaggeration to say that the scientists and innovators in this room have saved lives, improved our health and well-being, helped unleash whole new industries and millions of jobs, transformed the way we work and learn and communicate. And this incredible contribution serves as proof not only of their incredible creativity and skill, but of the promise of science itself.

Every day, in research laboratories and on proving grounds, in private labs and university campuses, men and women conduct the difficult, often frustrating wor ...
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