President Joe Biden
President Biden addressed the Presidential Advisory Council on Science and Technology.
Biden was KVML’s “Newsmaker of the Day” on Monday. Here are his words:
“As you know, this time when I was running for office, I was talking about PCAST and people were looking at me like, ‘What the hell is he talking about?’ And then I would explain what I meant. And we – it hasn’t been very active for the last four years, but science is back – (laughs) – back in vogue.
And I want to welcome everyone here with me today to the President’s Council on Advisors on Science and Technology — known as the PCAST. But first of all I would like to thank the co-chairman Dr. Lander, Dr. Arnold and Dr. Thank you Zuber and the entire Council – all of you – for your willingness to serve.
You know, it’s no secret that I’m a big fan of this advice. I would say, in parentheses, I used to hold our meetings with PCAST when we were in the Obama administration, and we were down in the library and they were giving a presentation. I would say, “Can I stay here and ask a few questions?” And three hours later they pulled me out because I had so many questions.
But you know, I often say that America can be defined – and I mean it sincerely – I was on the Tibetan plateau with – I think that was it – with President Xi of China. And – absolutely a true story. And we had traveled – I traveled with him 17,000 miles here in the United States and then in China.
And President – the President wanted me to meet him because we knew he would be the next President. And President Hu was President at the time and — but it wasn’t appropriate that the President of the United States spent all that time with the Vice President, so I spent a lot of time with him.
And we’ve had a lot of conversations. I think – I don’t know if that’s true – but I’ve been told that I’ve spent more time with him in person and on the phone than any other world leader. And we were – we would have these conversations. And I would have an interpreter and he would have one – simultaneous interpreting. And we would talk, and we would have all these meetings.
And like I said, we sat there and he said – he looked at me, he said, ‘Can you define America for me?’ And I said, ‘Yes. In a word: possibilities. Opportunities.” Unlike any other country in the world, we are – we’re just – we’re organized around the idea that anything is possible. And that’s the very spirit that animates this Council.
Your mission is to ask how science and technology can expand our possibilities, solve our toughest challenges, and make the impossible possible—make the impossible possible.
This year we’ve seen the power of science and technology produce extraordinary breakthroughs – from the miracle of safe and effective COVID vaccines and treatments to breakthrough clean energy technologies that are helping us tackle the climate crisis – although we still have one have a long way to go – while creating new jobs and new industries.
And you know, until a helicopter flies to Mars and a new deep-sea telescope is launched that will help us make discoveries never before seen — it’s important that science and scientific integrity are taken back seriously and centered on what it’s about us as a nation; that scientists have a seat at the table, at every table in government.
And that’s why this advice is so important, at least to me, and I think it will be so important to the United States and the world.
They represent the pinnacle of your fields of expertise in medicine, mathematics, astrophysics, agriculture, oceanography, public health, clean energy, cybersecurity, nanotechnology and more.
The breadth of this council is no coincidence; it is intended. And that — there was a time when PCAST didn’t encompass social scientists or doctors or, frankly, the voice of women. But today we understand that to harness the full power of science and technology and meet the challenges we face, we need to hear from all segments of the scientific community. And that’s why I’m so proud that for the first time in the history of this council we have a PCAST that looks like America.
And then I look forward to hearing from our Co-Chairs about the work we are involved in, particularly – particularly when it comes to addressing the inequalities in our public health systems, the threat of climate change and extreme weather meet, ensure that Americans have global leadership and innovation, create high-paying jobs and win competition in the 21st century.
And that’s what I think it’s all about.
So Eric, I can’t wait to get started. And I apologize for taking so long, but thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. And I look forward to seeing you all in person as we get a little better on with this COVID issue.
So – so thank you.”
The Newsmaker of the Day can be heard every weekday morning at 6:45am, 7:45am and 8:45am on AM 1450 and FM 102.7 KVML.