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Throughout history, humans have gazed at the heavens and wondered about their place in the universe. Astronomy continues to be popular with the public and to receive a high priority in the federal science budget. But the people, ideas, and tools have changed. From imagining patterns in the stars to analyzing temperature variations in the cosmic microwave background, astronomers have leapt forward in both knowledge and scientific capability.
The National Science Foundation, for more than 50 years, has helped identify the priorities, channel the public funds, nurture the careers, and provide the tools that enable wondrous discoveries. NSF's support of education and training helps shape the work force that will keep the field vibrant in future years.
Whether supporting an investigator, collaborating with other nations to build a telescope, or providing research experiences for students, NSF is committed to the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge about the universe.
Thank you for joining us on this voyage to the frontiers of understanding.
Rita R. Colwell
National Science Foundation
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