Reagan on Science

In his 8 years as president, Ronald Reagan, who died 5 June, addressed scientific topics as diverse as nuclear weapons, air pollution, and space flight. Here are a few of his notable statements about topics of scientific import:

There are no such things as limits to growth, because there are no limits on the human capacity for intelligence, imagination, and wonder. --Commencement address at the University of South Carolina, 20 September 1983

I call upon the scientific community in our country, those who gave us nuclear weapons, to turn their great talents now to the cause of mankind and world peace: to give us the means of rendering these nuclear weapons impotent and obsolete. --Announcing the "Star Wars" missile defense plan, 23 March 1983

Approximately 80% of our air pollution stems from hydrocarbons released by vegetation, so let's not go overboard in setting and enforcing tough emission standards from man-made sources. --As quoted in Sierra, 10 September 1980, according to www.bartleby.com

We'll continue our quest in space. There will be more shuttle flights and more shuttle crews and yes, more volunteers, more civilians, more teachers in space. Nothing ends here; our hopes and our journeys continue. --Speech delivered after the space shuttle Challenger disaster, 28 January 1986

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