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 You are in: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice > What the Secretary Has Been Saying > 2005 Secretary Rice's Remarks > June 2005: Secretary Rice's Remarks

Remarks at the Jefferson Science Fellows Reception

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Benjamin Franklin Room
Washington, DC
May 24, 2005

(1:00 p.m. EDT)

SECRETARY RICE: Thank you very much, George [Atkinson], for that very kind introduction and, indeed, it is wonderful to be among you from the scientific community. As we were walking up, I said to George that I had become accustomed to the company of scientists, as I was Provost at Stanford University. It is nice to see you all here and thank you very much for joining me today as we welcome the second group of Jefferson Science Fellows into our State Department family.

This tremendous program wouldn't be possible without the participation of 80 universities and the generous financial support of the MacArthur Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation. I want to welcome the presidents of those two great organizations, Dr. Jonathan Fanton and also Dr. Vartan Gregorian. And I had the great pleasure, for a while, of serving on the board of the Carnegie and I just want to say these two great foundations have done so much for America and so much for science. Thank you very much for everything that you have done and continue to do.

I also want to welcome and thank William Golden for his support of our nation's science and diplomacy over the course of many decades.

Ladies and gentlemen, the life of Thomas Jefferson exemplifies the timeless bond between American science and American statecraft. When Jefferson was not conducting diplomacy as our first Secretary of State, he was breaking new ground in the fields of meteorology and paleontology and botany.

And Jefferson himself did not keep his elegant discoveries quiet. Rather, he applied his scientific knowledge to advance the human condition. The study of the natural order also led Jefferson to the examination of human nature, to the consideration of those moral truths that define our souls and shape the course of history.

For Jefferson, both science and self-government stemmed from self-evident truths about human beings and their place in the universe. These ideas have enabled the United States and a growing community of democratic nations to liberate the natural potential of all our citizens. And today, as always, America stands for the progress of science and for the march of freedom worldwide.

The State Department created these prestigious Jefferson Science Fellowships to strengthen the crucial connection between science and diplomacy in the 21st century. Dynamic achievements in science and technology are transforming our world, making it possible for more and more people to compete equally across all fields of human endeavor. America must remain at the forefront of this new world. We must explore the darkest depths of our oceans, examine the building blocks of human life, and probe the farthest reaches of outer space. And like Jefferson, we must apply the knowledge we gain to ease human suffering and advance human liberty.

By bringing some of our best scientific minds into government service, the Jefferson Science Fellowship is helping America to remain the global leader in science and technology. At the same time, these accomplished scientists will participate in the creation of our nation's foreign policy. They will gain a deep appreciation for the hardworking men and women of American diplomacy. And when our Jefferson Science Fellows return to their classrooms and laboratories, they will enrich their students and colleagues alike by sharing their experiences of government, and by the way, I look forward to joining them one day and doing exactly that. (Laughter.)

Last year's Jefferson Science Fellows have done a remarkable service for our country. They have helped us all to better understand such complex and essential fields as genetic engineering and agricultural science and the geology of natural resources. I know that this year's group will serve with equal distinction.

Now, it is my great pleasure to announce the five recipients of the State Department's 2005 Jefferson Science Fellowship:

Dr. William Hammack of the University of Illinois
Dr. James Harrington of Rutgers University
Dr. Michael Prather of the University of California-Irvine
Dr. Edward Samulski of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Dr. Alexander King of Purdue University

Congratulations to you all and best of luck in the years ahead. We will now pose for a group photograph and then you will have a chance to meet our Fellows.


Released on May 24, 2005

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