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President Bill Clinton
(19 Aug 1946 - )

American president who was the 42nd president of the U.S. (1993-2001).

Bill Clinton - Human Genome Celebration

Illustrated Quote - Large (800 x 600 px)

President Clinton at podium + Quote “We are here to celebrate…entire human genome…most wondrous map ever produced by human kind”
President Clinton at the Human Genome Announcement at the White House (20 Jun 2000), with Francis S. Collins (left) and Craig Ventner. (source)

“We are here to celebrate the completion of the first survey of the entire human genome. Without a doubt, this is the most important, most wondrous map ever produced by human kind.”
— U.S. President Bill Clinton
(26 Jun 2000)

More Bill Clinton quotes on science >>

The Context of Bill Clinton's Human Genome Celebration Quote

On 26 Jun 2000, the first draft was announced of the human genome, the result of an international research effort to map the entire sequence of genes in human DNA. Beginning as early as 1984, it had been the focus of numerous universities and laboratories in the U.S., together with others in Great Britain, France, Germany, Japan and China. Upon publication of the majority of the genome in Feb 2001 in the journal Nature, Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, described the genome in terms of a book with three volumes:

“It's a history book - a narrative of the journey of our species through time. It's a shop manual, with an incredibly detailed blueprint for building every human cell. And it's a transformative textbook of medicine, with insights that will give health care providers immense new powers to treat, prevent and cure disease.”

For the announcement, in the East Room of the White House on 26 Jun 2000, President Bill Clinton was joined by British Prime Minister Tony Blair (via satellite), Dr. Francis Collins and Craig Ventner, President of Celera Genomics Corporation. Ambassadors from the United Kingdom, Japan, France and Germany were present in the audience, together with James Watson and scientists involved in the Human Genome Project.

After welcoming everyone, the President began:

“Nearly two centuries ago, in this room, on this floor, Thomas Jefferson and a trusted aide spread out a magnificent map—a map Jefferson had long prayed he would get to see in his lifetime. The aide was Meriwether Lewis and the map was the product of his courageous expedition across the American frontier, all the way to the Pacific. It was a map that defined the contours and forever expanded the frontiers of our continent and our imagination.

Today, the world is joining us here in the East Room to behold a map of even greater significance. We are here to celebrate the completion of the first survey of the entire human genome. Without a doubt, this is the most important, most wondrous map ever produced by humankind. …

It was not even 50 years ago that a young Englishman named Crick and a brash even younger American named Watson, first discovered the elegant structure of our genetic code. … [That announcement] in the journal Nature was one of the great understatements of all time:

‘This structure has novel features, which are of considerable biological interest.’

…Today's announcement represents more than just an epic-making triumph of science and reason. After all, when Galileo discovered he could use the tools of mathematics and mechanics to understand the motion of celestial bodies, he felt, in the words of one eminent researcher,

‘that he had learned the language in which God created the universe.’

Today, we are learning the language in which God created life. We are gaining ever more awe for the complexity, the beauty, the wonder of God's most divine and sacred gift. With this profound new knowledge, humankind is on the verge of gaining immense, new power to heal. Genome science will have a real impact on all our lives -- and even more, on the lives of our children. It will revolutionize the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of most, if not all, human diseases.

In coming years, doctors increasingly will be able to cure diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, diabetes and cancer by attacking their genetic roots. Just to offer one example, patients with some forms of leukemia and breast cancer already are being treated in clinical trials with sophisticated new drugs that precisely target the faulty genes and cancer cells, with little or no risk to healthy cells. In fact,

it is now conceivable that our children's children will know the term cancer only as a constellation of stars. …”

The President continued to thank scientists and the public-private cooperation, and spoke about the future horizons for continued research and applications. He introduced Prime Minister Blair's comments, and those from Francis Collins and Craig Ventner. Dr. Collins said, in part:

“What more powerful form of study of mankind could there be than to read our own instruction book?”

From White House announcement broadcast on the day of the publication of the first draft of the human genome. Text of Remarks on the Completion of the First Survey of the Entire Human Genome Project (26 Jun 2000). (source)

Quotes by | Tony Blair | Francis Collins | Craig Ventner | Francis Crick | James Watson

See also:
  • Science Quotes by President Bill Clinton.
  • Bill Clinton - Context of the “Celebrate completion of the first survey of the entire human genome” quote - with medium image (500 x 350px).
  • Bill Clinton - Context of the “Our children's children will know the term cancer only as a constellation” quote - with medium image (500 x 350px).
  • Bill Clinton - Context of the “Our children's children will know the term cancer only as a constellation” quote - with large image (800 x 600px).
  • Bill Clinton - Context of the “We are learning the language in which God created life” quote - with medium image (500 x 350px).
  • Bill Clinton - Context of the “We are learning the language in which God created life” quote - with medium image (800 x 600px).

Nature bears long with those who wrong her. She is patient under abuse. But when abuse has gone too far, when the time of reckoning finally comes, she is equally slow to be appeased and to turn away her wrath. (1882) -- Nathaniel Egleston, who was writing then about deforestation, but speaks equally well about the danger of climate change today.
Carl Sagan Thumbnail Carl Sagan: In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) ...(more by Sagan)

Albert Einstein: I used to wonder how it comes about that the electron is negative. Negative-positive—these are perfectly symmetric in physics. There is no reason whatever to prefer one to the other. Then why is the electron negative? I thought about this for a long time and at last all I could think was “It won the fight!” ...(more by Einstein)

Richard Feynman: It is the facts that matter, not the proofs. Physics can progress without the proofs, but we can't go on without the facts ... if the facts are right, then the proofs are a matter of playing around with the algebra correctly. ...(more by Feynman)
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