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From Russia with Wisdom
October 26, 2011
Dr. Michio Kaku Challenges 2011 Graduates to 'Create the Future'
"Boundaries are being broken by technology," Dr. Michio Kaku told the class of 2011 at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology's 133rd Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 28, in the Sports and Recreation Center. In a moment which would have been impossible only a few years ago, Dr. Kaku delivered his speech from a hotel lobby in Moscow, where his flight had been grounded due to mechanical failure just a few short hours from his planned arrival in Terre Haute.
"He immediately used technology so he could be with us in spirit and speak to us on this momentous occasion," Rose-Hulman president, Matt Branam stated of the scientist's use of modern communication technologies to overcome the unusual circumstances.
"I'm in Moscow at a hotel lobby because of engine failure," Dr. Kaku began, joking that it was "better to have that engine fail on the ground than in the air." Rose-Hulman, which was recently counted among America's Top 10 Techiest Colleges, broke the boundaries of geography to bring Dr. Kaku's commencement address to its graduates in spite of the challenging, unforeseen situation.
Even on video, Dr. Kaku's personable speaking style, peppered with personal anecdotes and humor, engaged his audience, drawing laughter several times throughout the speech. The noted futurist encouraged the graduates in a speech which touched upon three central themes.
"Science is the engine of prosperity," he told them, as he spoke of civilizations which prospered because they embraced technology, versus those who struggled because they did not.
"Science and technology are a double-edged sword," Dr. Kaku said, explaining that discoveries which can be used for the greater good can also cause harm. Using the example of the recent tsunami-induced nuclear disaster in Japan, he said, "We have to be good enough to wield this double-edged technology."
Finally, referencing the effect of technology on the recent revolution in the Middle East, Dr. Kaku told the graduates, "Technology spreads democracy." He added that no two democracies have ever gone to war against one another.
Dr. Kaku closes his recorded message by apologizing once again for his absence and by telling the scholars, "The future is yours. Live a life as somebody who understands science and technology, and you will create the future."
In his address Branam said, "You are about to become the shapers of a technological revolution that only the most visionary among us, like Dr. Kaku, can imagine." He added, "I have total faith that you will succeed. Because if anyone can do it, I know that a Rose graduate can."
Dr. Kaku is a world-renowned theoretical physicist, futurist, best-selling author, and radio and television personality, who explains the most fascinating and complex scientific theories in ways that everyone can understand. His engaging and humorous style makes him a sought-after speaker and television commentator on scientific current events, and his award-winning Discovery Channel television series, "Sci Fi Science" brings his vision of the future into millions of households.
Dr. Kaku received his bachelor's degree in physics from Harvard University in 1968. He then went to the Berkeley Radiation Laboratory at the University of California-Berkeley where he earned his Ph.D. in 1972. Dr. Kaku is the author of several best-selling books, including Physics of the Future, which is currently on the New York Times' best-sellers list. He is also a visiting professor at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University and is a fellow of the American Physical Society.