Chancellor Birgeneau, Professor Tjian, distinguished faculty, students and guests,
It is exciting to be on the campus of one of the best universities in the world. Five years ago, Professor Tjian explained to me the new paradigms of biomedical research at Berkeley on the molecular mechanism of diseases. I can remember how dazzled I was by the wondrous and endless potential of science and the hope that a cure for today’s killer diseases may be close at hand.
Nobel physicist Professor Richard Feynman in his public lecture, “The Value of Science,” summed up scientists’ responsibility as “to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions and pass them on.” Applied beyond the confines of scientific communities into broader society, this seemingly simple and specific duty would require each and every one to be more thoughtful and knowledgeable about the diversity of human conditions and sentiments. It also requires major resource commitments from society into providing high-quality education as a means of creating equality of opportunity and more fulfilling lives. I believe investments in high quality education are the best investments in improving the human condition.
In this new biomedical center, you are all accomplished scientists dedicated to exploring the frontiers of knowledge, and I am sure that aside from Berkeley you have a lot of offers to choose from. However you have chosen to conduct your groundbreaking research here in a public institution with far fewer resources and lots of challenges to surmount. I salute your commitment and your contribution to society, and I know that your discoveries will bring significant changes to our world and positive benefits for all mankind. Thank you.