Speakers Predict Wild Ride for Science Grads

by Martha Sadler

Former secretary of defense William Perry (pictured) and international corporate force Fred Gluck together urged UCSB science graduates during commencement speeches last Saturday not to leave their consciences behind when they enter the workforce. “At the end of the career that you’ll be starting,” said Perry, speaking to graduates of the School of Science and Engineering, “let it be said that there never came an end to the good that you have done.” Perry, who served under presidents Carter and Clinton, spearheaded development of the F-117 stealth bomber and the ARPA communication network that became the Internet. He said his proudest moment in government was a series of visits to the Ukraine, starting in 1994, to witness the dismantling of a Soviet nuclear missile installation poised to strike numerous targets in the U.S.“Never had the stark horror of the Cold War been more real to me,” Perry said. Gluck spoke to graduates with degrees in math, life sciences, and physical sciences. Referring to the company he once led, McKinsey and Company, an international management consulting firm, as a “well-known tool of capitalism,” Gluck marveled that the People’s Republic of China recently asked the company for advice. Gluck noted that the U.S. today consumes 25 percent of earth’s resources, despite comprising less than five percent of its population; he predicted that during the next 50 years there will be an “inevitable redistribution.” While the U.S.“will not necessarily decline,” he said, “it will likely be less distinctive.” Graduates may be “called upon to lead in ways you don’t expect,” added Gluck, as the coming decades bring “change we can’t imagine.”

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