Gerald R. Ford photo

Remarks Upon Signing the National Science and Technology Policy, Organization, and Priorities Act of 1976

May 11, 1976

Mr. Vice President, Members of the House and Senate, distinguished leaders of the scientific and engineering community, and friends:

I am pleased that all of you could join with me on this very important occasion. Almost 200 years ago, Thomas Jefferson said: "Knowledge is power; knowledge is safety; knowledge is happiness."

We Americans have sought knowledge since Jefferson's time, sometimes for its own sake and often used for the betterment of our own lives and the protection of the ideals on which our country was founded.

Those of us here today share a very strong view that science and engineering and technology can and must continue to make great contributions to the achievement of our goals. We look to the men and women of our scientific and engineering community to provide new knowledge and to provide new products and services that we need for the growth of our economy, for the improvement of our health and for the defense of our Nation and for a better life for all.

During the past 21 months I have been able to put into practice some of my views about the importance of science and technology. In June of 1975, I proposed legislation to create a new Office of Science and Technological [Technology] Policy. That proposal has passed the Congress and is now before me for approval. We have taken other steps to draw upon the knowledge of our scientific and technical experts.

I have submitted to the Congress, as part of a fiscal year 1977 budget, requests for nearly $25 billion that is needed to assure that we are moving forward in all major areas of research and development, particularly in basic research. This is an increase of approximately 11 percent.

Today, I sign into law the National Science and Technological [Technology] Policy, Organization, and Priorities Act of 1976. In addition to establishing the new office, the bill calls for an intensive study of the way we utilize science and technology in the government and in the Nation. It helps to assure that we will have the views of State and local governments, business, labor, and citizen groups in a great effort.

I congratulate and thank the Members of the Congress on the fine work represented by this legislation. It is a good example of an effective cooperation between the Congress and the executive branch, and I am most grateful.

I am now very pleased to sign this bill into law.

Note: The President spoke at 10:48 a.m. in the East Garden at the White House.

As enacted, the bill (H.R. 10230) is Public Law 94 282 (90 Stat. 459).

Gerald R. Ford, Remarks Upon Signing the National Science and Technology Policy, Organization, and Priorities Act of 1976 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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