Gerald R. Ford photo

Remarks at a Meeting on the Bicentennial Exposition on Science and Technology.

February 09, 1976

I AM very impressed with the development that has taken place in the last few months. I can recall very vividly when the idea was first presented to me, and it is very encouraging to see some 20 agencies in the Federal Government, plus American industry, join together in putting together a project that talks about the future of America in relationship to science in our third century.

When we look at what can be done with science, whether it is in climate or energy, in food, in health, or a wide variety of other areas, we should be emphasizing very dramatically to the people who will come and see it, the prospects for a better life in 1976 and for the next 100 years thereafter.

I think our faith in research, research and development, is best exemplified in this demonstration, but also in the funding that we have incorporated in the fiscal year 1977 budget, not only applied science but also basic science. The overall increase in funding for science research and development is about 11 percent with certain emphasis in those areas--energy, particularly, because that is the thing we have to work on to a maximum degree to achieve energy independence by 1985.

But there is also the continuation of our space program with the space shuttle, our climate analysis programs that are vitally important for agriculture as well as otherwise, the basic research from which applied research comes. And Dr. Stever is a firm advocate of that with the National Science Foundation.

Of course, the Department of Commerce has a very significant role here, because industry and commerce are the beneficiaries of what we do with our research and development in the stages where the Federal Government is a participant.

And of course, to bring all of these things together under the aegis of the Bicentennial commission, I think, is one way where we can show to America what we have done and what we are going to do with Federal funds and the ingenuity of our scientists and the drive and foresight of our private sector.

I am very encouraged that a good many million Americans will have an opportunity-beginning May 30 and running through Labor Day--will see firsthand the best in America, not only in the past but in the future. And I congratulate everybody, John, for working with you. And you are playing a very vital role, but it is a team effort that I think the American people will greatly respect and thoroughly enjoy.

So, I congratulate you all and wish you the very best. I think it will have a a great impact not only on all that see it but it will have a significant impact on the Cape Canaveral-Kennedy Space Center operations.

I thank you for your cooperation, and let's make sure it is the very best we can possibly do.

Note: The President spoke at 12:35 p.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House where he was meeting with James C. Fletcher, Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, John W. Warner, Administrator, American Revolution Bicentennial Administration, H. Guyford Stever, Director, National Science Foundation, and Lee Sherer, Director, John F. Kennedy Space Center.

For the President's telephone remarks on the dedication of the exposition at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, see Item 591.

Gerald R. Ford, Remarks at a Meeting on the Bicentennial Exposition on Science and Technology. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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