Posted By
Nicole Flores Communications / Media Associate

News Conference Feb.15, 2008

PostedFebruary 15, 2008

The Grand Challenges for Engineering were made public at a news conference during the AAAS meeting in Boston on Feb. 15, 2008.

Charles M. Vest, NAE President, and seven members of the committee that identified the Grand Challenges for Engineering were present:

  • William Perry, committee chair, Michael and Barbara Berberian Professor, Professor of Engineering, and Former U.S. Secretary of Defense
  • Farouk El-Baz, Research Professor and Director, Center for Remote Sensing, Boston University
  • Wesley Harris, Department Head and Charles Stark Draper Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
  • Raymond Kurzweil, Chairman and CEO, Kurzweil Technologies
  • Robert Langer, Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

The news conference was recorded, and audio is available in the files below.  (Please note that at the beginning of some of the audio recordings are questions that were not captured well by the news conference microphones; however, the responses from Charles M. Vest and the committee members are easy to hear.)



Press Conference - Question 2 2MB, MP3 William Perry and Charles M. Vest describe the relationship of the Grand Challenges to the "ecology of innovation."

Press Conference - Question 3 1MB, MP3 Charles M. Vest talks about future activities related to the project; William Perry states a need for space probes and instrumentation.

Press Conference - Question 9 5MB, MP3 Raymond Kurzweil describes connections between the Grand Challenges and ideas found in his own, earlier publications, particularly in energy and medicine.