(CNN) — A recession loomed large in the nation’s rear-view mirror. The economic recovery, still fragile, was marred by chronic unemployment, especially for workers whose jobs had been erased by technological innovation.
Meanwhile, an ongoing battle against foreign enemies consumed a large share of public resources. It was, in short, hardly the moment one would expect for a political leader to lay down a public challenge whose goal — and costs — staggered the imagination.
But 50 years ago on May 25, my uncle, John F. Kennedy, ascended the rostrum in the House of Representatives’ chamber to do precisely that. His goal — “to land a man on the moon and return him safely to earth,” and to do so within a decade — was not merely appropriate to a moment of national uncertainty. It helped to resolve it.
It’s time to do so again.
This time the destination is closer to home, but the technical challenges may exceed even a moon landing. So will the benefits. All we need is to be of one mind as to the goal.
Hence the name of a collaborative initiative that aims to undertake the moon race of our time — a dramatic acceleration of the national commitment to neuroscience: The “One Mind” campaign……
By Patrick Kennedy, Special to CNN