Keynote speech from the the gala event "Act From Thought: The Case for Basic Science Research" during the first National Math Festival in Washington, DC, April 16 - 18, 2015.
"Time and time again, we’ve found that basic research can pay huge, out-of-proportion returns. Basic research can completely transform for the better our society, our economy, our defense. ... We need to keep the Miracle Machine functioning, we need to train amazing young minds, we need to fund the best ideas, because, at least so far, no one has invented any system that has had a greater impact on human welfare."
Eric S. Lander is the president and founding director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. A geneticist, molecular biologist, and mathematician, Lander has played a pioneering role in all aspects of the reading, understanding, and biomedical application of the human genome. Lander is a professor of biology at MIT and professor of systems biology at Harvard Medical School. In 2008, Lander was appointed by President Obama as co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) – a council of 20 of the nation’s leading scientists and engineers that advises the White House on matters including health, advanced manufacturing, energy policy, information technology, drug innovation, spectrum and communications policy, nanotechnology, and national security.
A full bio of Eric S. Lander can be found at broadinstitute.org/bios/eric-s-lander
A transcript of this talk is available as a PDF: http://bit.ly/1Ua2daS