Washington, D.C. — President Barack Obama promised a new era of science and technology for the nation, telling the National Academy of Sciences on Monday that he wants to devote more funds to research and development.
America has fallen behind other countries in science, Obama said.
“I believe it is not in our character, American character, to follow — but to lead. And it is time for us to lead once again. I am here today to set this goal: We will devote more than 3 percent of our gross domestic product to research and development,” Obama said in a speech at the annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences.
That 3 percent would amount to about $420 billion.
“We will not just meet but we will exceed the level achieved at the height of the space race,” he said.
Obama set forth a wish list including solar cells as cheap as paint; green buildings that produce all the energy they consume; learning software as effective as a personal tutor; prosthetics so advanced that you could play the piano again and “an expansion of the frontiers of human knowledge about ourselves and world the around us.