to the Chicago Public Schools Science Fair on its 50th anniversary!
what a half-century of scientific discovery!
eradication of smallpox and polio; lasers and laser surgery; the
artificial heart; cryosurgery; cloning; organ transplantation;
gene synthesis and gene therapy - discoveries that brought a new
understanding of the human body and better health and longer life
to millions of people.
Nuclear power, microprocessors, fiberoptic cable, satellites and
space exploration, ultra-fast trains, supersonic jetliners, catalytic
converters, color TV, CDs, and, of course, personal computers
and the Internet - discoveries that improved living standards,
greatly enhanced communication, and gave us a better understanding
of our world and of the infinity of space that lies beyond it.
of those discoveries were made by patient, curious people employing
the scientific method - just like our Science Fair contestants.
As always, we at Kraft Foods are proud to sponsor the Fair, for
many reasons: the intellectual challenge, the thrill of competition,
the independent discovery of new knowledge, and throughout the
whole process, the opportunities for teachers to coach and mentor
- and for parents to support and encourage.
I was growing up in the U.K., none of this was available, so to
the contestants, let me say that you are very fortunate indeed!
I love to take my kids to science fairs and help them with their
chose a career in science because I was better at it than I was
at the arts. In college, I focused on biochemistry, because that
was where the real cutting-edge work was being done. We were studying
what had been discovered almost literally that same year. So,
just like our contestants, I do appreciate the thrill of scientific
science courses and projects helped me in another very important
way: they taught me to think critically. I learned that there
are often many sides to a question and that science involves building
theories and testing hypotheses.
you learn this kind of thinking, you're in a much better position
to understand the meaning of new information -- and its implications
for your life. You're better able to think through an issue, and
you can figure out what kinds of evidence are needed to choose
between alternate hypotheses.
of our most critical issues today are scientific questions. How
real is global warming - and if it's real, what causes it? What
foods can help keep you healthy and what - if any - vitamin supplements
should you take? Which is safer, a large car or a small one? How
much does recycling really help the environment? Do antibiotics
cure the common cold? How can we ensure the safety of our food
supply? Is there extraterrestrial intelligence?
of health and environment, of safety and risk, of the very nature
of life and reality - these are some of the most basic and difficult
questions that we face. If we understand how science answers these
questions and many others, we can live our lives more intelligently
- and we can make better decisions as a citizens of a democracy.
the next century, for example, modern societies will need to move
from fossil-based energy systems to new energy sources. How will
we do it? And how will we deal with the biotechnology revolution
and all the questions it raises?
new technologies of the 21st century should - and can - be as
beneficial as the discoveries of the past 50 years. We must make
them useful, cheap, and available to all. We must guard against
their dangers and harness their power to save lives. We must use
them to spread knowledge, well-being, and wealth around the world.
Science Fair participants are just the kind of people we need
to help us accomplish all of this. You can help us realize the
tremendous potential of science and technology in the new century.
to this year's contestants, from all of us at Kraft Foods. You're
all winners, and we hope that your interest in science
will lead you to further discoveries, achievements, and success.