The kick-off session of Science Generation - A National Imperative, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City featured a panel of prominent science/education advocates but it was Newt Gingrinch who got the crowd of 400+ really fired up.
The former Speaker of the House called not for a doubling of the NSF budget but a tripling of it. He said excuses that we can't afford to do this in a $3 trillion budget are "baloney."
He said that if we don't make the investments in science and education, our kids will inherit a country that is "weaker, poorer, and less safe" than the one we grew up in.
Newt also proposed opening teaching to part-timers with backgrounds in science and math, without requiring them to go through teacher certification.
Others on the panel made bold statements but I've got to head back to the opening session for today and will blog more about this and today's developments later.