The Hall of Science will serve
as a legacy of this great fair. It will be the cornerstone of
this city's science center. It will be a meaningful symbol of
the impact of science on our lives. But most significantly it
will contribute to the understanding of those many disciplines
which comprise modern scientific undertakings.
Most of us are aware of the changes
that are being made in our personal lives by the increase in
technical development. Applications of science's discoveries
surround us. But those of us whose work brings us into touch
with this outpouring of challenge and response are not mindful
enough, I think, of our obligation to encourage a constant understanding
of what we are about.
There is a tendency, even perhaps
an effort by some, to set up the scientific community in a special
category of its own, separated by some mystique from our humanitarian
traditions. This Hall of Science means that New Yorkers will
not be guilty of that misconception. It will help them understand
that the world of science is a world of accumulated knowledge,
not a world of magic or mystery. They will see how slowly, painstakingly
the scientists unveil knowledge that has not been disclosed by
the inquiries of the past; that science is a search for truth,
and that so are philosophy and history and poetry.
As we move more deeply into the
age of applied science, public understanding is supremely important.
For science is an integral part of the concepts and hard work
that sustain this nation. In your New York universities, in your
schools and in this building the disciplines of science work
with all others in the American conviction that public knowledge
is public strength. It is essential, in support of this belief,
that the public realize science's problems, become familiar with
its tools, appreciate its progress, recognize its relevance to
modern living, and share in its aspirations.
So this building has significance
beyond its magnificent structure. It is a means of helping the
thousands who will visit here to understand a field of human
endeavor which has assumed new dimension and new importance in
This building, and others of
similar purpose, stand at the critical points between scientific
advancement and public understanding. The function of this Hall
and its sister institutions are as important to scientific progress
as the most advanced laboratory where research is reaching the
very edges of our knowledge.
I feel a personal relationship
to this dedication. Last year Paul Screvane and Guy Tozzoli and
others came to my office with the building's sketches. Their
enthusiasm was irresistible for me as it was for many of you
who have answered their plea for funds.
It is no accident that the U.S.
Space Park is located adjacent to the Hall of Science. It is
a great credit to the wisdom of Robert Moses and his associates
that the permanent structure designed for retention after the
Fair is the building we are here to dedicate.
New York City and New Yorkers
are to be commended for the enterprise and the imagination that
makes this building available to the city and its visitors. I
wish for it every possible success.