Obama Touts Innovation to Address Today's
October 17, 2016
"Investing in science and technology spurs
our country towards new jobs and new
industries," U.S. President Barack Obama
said Saturday in his weekly address.
In one of the many scientific programs that
have been established since Obama took
office, more than 80 federal agencies have
engaged 250,000 Americans through more than
700 challenges on Challenge.gov to address
problems ranging from fighting Ebola, to
decreasing the cost of solar energy, to
blocking illegal robocalls. The competitions
made more than $220 million available to
entrepreneurs and innovators and have led to
the formation of more than 275 startup
companies with over $70 million in follow-up
funding, creating several hundred new jobs.
The Obama administration has invested over
$1 billion in scientific programs he says
are essential to improving and defending
Innovation is in American DNA, Obama said.
"And today, we need it more than ever to
solve the challenges we face."
president chided those who ignore scientific
facts. "It's so backward when some folks
choose to stick their heads in the sand
about basic scientific facts," he said.
"It's not just that they're saying that
climate-change is a hoax or trotting out a
snowball on the Senate floor. It's that
they're also doing everything they can to
gut funding for research and development,
the kinds of investments that brought us
breakthroughs like GPS and MRIs and put Siri
on our smartphones."
Obama was making a reference to Senator Jim
Inhofe, a Republican from the southwestern
state of Oklahoma, also the chairman of the
Senate's Environment and Public Works
Committee, who famously brought a snowball
into the Senate chamber in February in an
effort to prove climate change is a hoax.
"That's not who we are," the president said.
"Only through science can we cure diseases
and save the only planet we've got and
ensure that America keeps its competitive
advantages as the world's most innovative