Wednesday, April 9, 2008

My speech....yawn....

Williams Remarks at HEC meeting in Islamabad

Thank you Dr. Naqvi…

It is an honor and a privilege to address this distinguished group.

I would like to begin my short remarks with a quote.

The US inventor and diplomat Benjamin Franklin said, “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest”. We are here today to celebrate an investment in knowledge on the part of the US National Science Foundation and the Pakistan Higher Education Commission.

For me and for many people here today, this Workshop represents a major milestone in the course of our project to enhance science and technology collaborations between the US and Pakistan. As a number of you know, this project had its origins in the US-Pakistan Joint Committee Meeting on Science and Technology lead by Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman of the HEC and Dr. Arden Bement of the NSF.

One objective that originated in that meeting is, now quoting directly from the report…“introduction of high speed connectivity between the two countries”. Today we announce a very significant step toward meeting that objective.

However, one point needs to be made clearly. This is a beginning, not an end. The primary objective of the Joint Committee Meeting was to enhance collaborations between US and Pakistan science and technology efforts. This network connection is an important mechanism for enhancing those collaborations. But, it is only a mechanism. It is now our responsibility to use this mechanism, this network connection, as a tool to enhance Pakistan-US science and technology activity.

As we will see later in this Workshop, the areas of scientific collaboration between the US and Pakistan are many and varied. They range from studying the impact of climate change on glaciers to cooperation in nanotechnology to trauma and injury research to research in construction products and cement. All of these areas will benefit from this new network connection.

This connection will enable high speed transfer of medical images between countries. It will facilitate sharing of medical and research databases and publications. It will allow research groups separated by half a world to communicate easily via video conference and to use the newest of collaborative tools. It will facilitate sharing of the best of US science and medical research with the best of Pakistani science and medical research.

The technology for making this network connection between the US and Pakistan is well known. The real success of our project will be measured based on the success of the science and technology collaborations enabled and enhanced by this connection. That is the goal toward which we strive.

I would like to conclude my remarks with a second quote that may be familiar to you… “With faith, discipline and selfless devotion to duty, there is nothing worthwhile that you cannot achieve.” Of course, that is Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

Thank you again for inviting me to Pakistan and for hosting this dedication. And, special thanks to all my colleagues in the HEC, whose hard work has made this network connection possible.

2 comments:

Frank said...

I finally found the comments button. This blog has been most informing; one of the best I have ever encountered.

Keep up the good work.

Frank said...

Have you been swimming in the Ganges yet? Don't miss that.

When was your meeting with Ram Baran going to be?