President Obama appeared today at Facebook alongside Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, House Leader Nancy Pelosi, a collection of journalists and 700 employees to discuss the future of technology in America.
The meet was broadcasted live on Ustream and can be re-watched here. Obama took the time to address budget issues in regards to the health and tech sectors, why math and science are so valuable in today’s economy and stressed the real job generators in the field of technology and the web:
“I always hear stories about how we can’t find engineers, and that’s why we’re emphasizing Math and Science … We want to start making Science cool. I want people to feel about the next big energy breakthrough and the next big Internet breakthrough the same way they felt about the moonwalk.”
When speaking about immigration reform Obama brought up Intel founder Andy Grove as a prime example of why the US should and will welcome immigrants who want to pursue science and math:
“We’ve got ambitious people from all around the world, that come here because they have a new idea … If we’ve got smart people who want to come here and start businesses, who’ve got PhDs in math and science and computer science. Why wouldn’t we want them to stay? … These are job generators,”
While most of Obama’s town hall speech could be considered preaching to choir, he does highlight a very valid point about the growing Internet revolution. The president likened the massive achievements made thanks to the power of the web to Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon.
Obama further stressed the importance of a race to the top approach with science, space and math as smarter minds outpace their less tech-savvy counterparts.