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ANTI-TERRORIST TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH
NEEDS PRESIDENTIAL SUPPORT MOST,
LEMELSON-MIT INVENTION INDEX SURVEY FINDS

Medical Inventions Expected To Have
Greatest Impact Over Next 25 Years

Cambridge, MA, October 1, 2004 — An election-year supplement to the annual Lemelson-MIT Invention Index study, which gauges Americans’ attitudes toward invention, found:

  • One-third of American adults and teens vote anti-terrorist research as most in need of the next president’s support.
  • One-third of adults and 20 percent of teens believe inventing alternative energy sources should also be a high priority.
  • Nearly half of adults and teens believe medical inventions will most significantly impact their lives over the next 25 years, while more than 20 percent said energy and environment inventions would affect their lives.

Q: On which area of research would you most like whoever is voted president to focus his support in the next four years?

Adults Teens (12-17)
Anti-terrorist technology 33 perecent 23 percent
Alternative energy sources 32.5 percent 23 percent
Stem cells 12 percent 4 percent
Water purification 11 percent 20 percent
Space exploration 2.5 percent 15 percent
Don't know / refused 8 percent 5 percent

Q: Which one of the following types of inventions will most affect Americans’ lives over the next 25 years?

Adults Teens (12-17)
Medical 54 percent 22 percent
Energy and environment 23 percent 22 percent
Transportation 9 percent 18 percent
Communications 9 percent 8 percent
Time-saving or convenience products 3 percent 3 percent
Don't know / refused 2 percent 1 percent

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MERTON FLEMINGS, LEMELSON-MIT PROGRAM DIRECTOR:
“Technology is an important tool that can potentially make us safer from terror. We’re not surprised, in post-9/11 America, that nearly a third of teens and adults feel research into this area should be a high priority for the next president. Adults and teens also clearly understand that our longer term security depends on developing sustainable ways to produce energy and to ensure adequate clean water for all.”

ABOUT THE LEMELSON-MIT PROGRAM
The Lemelson-MIT Program provides the resources and inspiration to make invention and innovation more accessible to today’s youth. It accomplishes this mission through outreach activities and annual awards, including the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize, the largest single award in the United States for invention.

Jerome H. Lemelson, one of the world’s most prolific inventors, and his wife, Dorothy founded the Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994. It is funded by The Lemelson Foundation, a private philanthropy committed to honoring the contributions of inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs and to inspiring ingenuity in others. More information is online at http://web.mit.edu/invent.

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