Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Barack Obama points to Sputnik to save technology

Obama: Sputnik moment is back

Article comments

President Barack Obama is calling for more investment in science and technology, saying the "Sputnik moment is back" for the US, referring to the 1957 orbiting Soviet satellite now synonymous with any foreign challenge to America's technical dominance.

Parts of Obama's speech today were very similar to one made just last week by US Energy Secretary Steven Chu , who also referred to Sputnik. It was as if the two shared notes.

One of Energy Secretary Steven Chu's slides from a speech he gave last week. Source: DOE.

The underlying message of Obama's talk Monday was to keep Congress from slashing education and science funding.

Cutting science and technology investments is "like trying to reduce the weight of an overloaded aircraft by removing its engine," said Obama.

Obama also cited a need to protect education, and pointed to a series of statistics that illustrate problems, such as falling from first to ninth place globally in the proportion of young people with college degrees.

"In the race for the future, America is in danger of falling behind. That's just the truth," said Obama, speaking at Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Similar to Chu, he raised a few recent technology developments, some pointing back to China .

Among them, without naming the company, Obama cited development of the world's "largest private solar research and development facility" in China. He was likely referring to a 400,000 square foot facility built by Applied Materials.

The President also cited China's development of a supercomputer that's now ranked as the world's fastest .

Obama didn't address offshore outsourcing directly, but made it clear the other nations are competing for US jobs .

"When global firms were asked a few years back where they planned on building new research and development facilities, nearly 80% said either China or India because those countries are focused on math and science, and they're focused on training and educating their workforce," Obama said.

Last week, Chu drew attention to the US decline in high-tech manufacturing. In 1998, the US had about 25% of the world's technology export market; today it is about 12% to 13%.


More from Techworld

More relevant IT news


Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *