A thousand times yes.
Challenging engineers to build a starship and giving school kids 3D printers were among several big ideas put out by a top US Government science wonk in a speech in Washington this morning. Citing President Kennedy's challenge to put a man on the moon, Thomas Kalil, Deputy Director of the Office of Science and Technology …
You have to take all those political statements about science with a grain of salt. Politicians have to come up with grand ideas because that is what gets them elected. Those ideas don't necessarily translate into successful science. Google for <Szilard "do something about the retardation of scientific progress"> for a nice story illustrating this point.
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