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Shirley Ann Jackson, President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and former Chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Wednesday, January 1, 2003

Abstract

At the millennium's dawn, the United States is in a quiet crisis not well recognized or understood. A century of science discovery and engineering innovation has brought us unprecedented comfort, prosperity, and leadership. Yet, the forces which brought us to this zenith are eroding: the talent that it rests upon is not being replaced in sufficient numbers. Our future prosperity, our global preeminence, and even our homeland security could be jeopardized. We must ask, who will do the science in the 21st century? We must further ask, what is the role of higher education in addressing this critical issue? How must universities adapt to meet the changes occurring in science and technology, and in a world that is quickly and quietly catching up in the very areas we where have excelled in the past?

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