(by Christine Lee, WWLP, May 26, 2011) Vice President Joe Biden is visiting Massachusetts for the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s announcement to send a man to the moon. Speaking at a luncheon at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston, the vice president encouraged the spirit of scientific advancement and technological innovation – and backed former Congressman Patrick Kennedy’s campaign to launch a 10-year research project on brain disorders.
“Just as there were naysayers in 1961 there are naysayers in 2011. Today they say our economy is too fragile. I say our economy will stay fragile for the better part of the century unless we are bold,” said Biden.
Also speaking at the event was astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who recalled President Kennedy’s announcement that led to his becoming that first man on the moon.
“This bold and courageous call to action led to America’s commitment to the moon race,” said Aldrin.
While President Kennedy’s project explored the outer reaches of space, his nephew, Patrick Kennedy, aims to tackle the inner reaches of the mind. Kennedy said his One Mind Research campaign will be to neuroscience what his uncle’s moon race was to aerospace engineering, with the special goal of treating veterans of brain disorders caused by the hazards of war.
“Whether it be a wounded warrior who because of spinal cord injury, and being confined to a wheel chair, will ultimately be able to take that first step out of a wheel chair. That for our generation will represent the one small step for man and the one giant leap for mankind,” said Kennedy.
The luncheon caps a 3-day conference on neuroscience research and development.