Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) CTO Dr. Ray O. Johnson spoke with EarthSky.org about the upcoming 2010 USA Science and Engineering Festival, which he and the firm are enthusiastically backing.
“One of the things we know about interest in science and technology is that the decision to go into those fields occurs early in a person’s life, in the grade school years, ” Johnson said. “So the goal of the USA Science and Engineering Festival is to enable young students to be exposed to hands-on opportunities in science, for them to really see what it’s like to get the feel of it.”
Johnson points out that America’s leadership internationally in these fields is waning and that inspiring the professionals of tomorrow is the best way to remedy that trend.
“A Congressional report a few years ago found that the U.S. leadership is beginning to erode in many of the areas of science. Inside the corporation we actually view this as nothing short of a crisis, ” he said. “The national security environment is more than just military security. It’s also economic security. It’s that competitiveness globally. It’s the ability to train a workforce that can work in the areas of energy and climate change, affordable health care, cybersecurity, some of the big challenges that we see for the world today, and the exciting opportunities that are being created in these fields.”