the historical, social, and economic urgency of investing in science; an electorate that cares deeply about science because it understands how science touches and benefits its lives; and an electorate willing to nourish and enhance our investments in good times and—at the very least—to safeguard them from the kinds of indiscriminate budget cuts we are seeing today in Washington. That—above all else—is the key to our collective future.

So, let us ask ourselves the following questions: When we are long gone and history books of our time have been written, what will they say about our contributions to the future of science and the future of our country?

At a time of great revolutions in both biology and information, did we rise to the challenge?

Did we keep our historical promises to our most vulnerable citizens?

Did we maintain our strong commitment—our international commitment—to basic science and clinical research?

Did we attract, train, and sustain new generations of brilliant scientists—women and men?

Did we give the American people the tools they needed to make the right choices with the only lives they will ever have?

Did we embrace our common vision and move forward on our common ground?

Quite simply, did we do the right thing?

Like the dying woman who plants a tree for her grandchildren to enjoy, every seed of science that we plant today, every plot of soil that we cultivate tomorrow, has the potential to open doors and enrich the lives of this generation and of every generation to come.

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