me. In my opinion, Bob has been the most influential president in the history of the NAE. During his tenure, the Academy actively addressed some of the most important issues in technology and public policy. The NAE has been extremely fortunate in having two such farsighted and internationally minded individuals in its senior leadership.
For all of my professional life, I have been an internationalist. I am tempted to say that this trait is genetic. My father, Eugene Rabinowitch, was a physical chemist who was deeply concerned with science and international affairs, as evidenced by his early involvement in the Pugwash meetings on international issues and his founding of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. I became engaged with this dual track of science and international concerns at the onset of my professional work, taking my doctorate in the somewhat unusual combination of zoology and international affairs. It might seem more probable if I mention that my thesis in zoology was on animal behavior! Yet, even without this family influence, I have little doubt that I would have gravitated toward a deep involvement in international affairs. It seems essential for the times in which we live.
Nearly every major issue we face as a society today is global in nature. The demand for wood products in Japan has an impact on forests in Oregon or Chile. The development of new communications devices in California will affect cultural practices in South Africa. The extinction of vast tracts of forest in the Amazon watershed may alter the climate of Siberia. Invariably, those issues have important scientific and technological dimensions. This is true whether we are speaking of arms control and disarmament, the preservation of global biodiversity, world food production, or fair and productive access to the dazzling array of new information and communication tools. In addition, the resolution of these issues requires concerted international action. The destruction of the ozone layer is a problem of the global commons that can only be resolved by concerted worldwide action. Smallpox was eradicated only through the cooperative efforts of many countries and health organizations.
Given the characteristics of the modern age, it is vital that engineers and scientists take the widest possible view of their work. It is also critical that our most important technological and scientific institutions, such as the NAE, help maintain a constant and lively interaction with colleagues and kindred institutions throughout the world.
I have been asked to address the role of foundations in international science and technology. Clearly, foundations have an important role to play in this global