Our Quote of the Week is from a speech about the ethics of science and technology that Sargent Shriver gave during a 1975 lecture tour in the former Soviet Union. Using his typical combination of warmth and strength, Sarge asserted that to truly resolve the complex problems of the modern world, we had to move beyond the notion "détente" (or easing of tensions between the two countries) and to fully embrace a notion of common existence. He stressed: "Common existence recognizes that even coexistence by itself is not enough – that even though there are proper areas of competition, there are inescapable and increasing imperatives of cooperation."
It is noteworthy that the issues Sargent Shriver mentions in the quote – nuclear war and the preservation of the environment – are among the issues in our daily headlines today. And it is vital to remember that, whatever differences and ongoing competition there may be between us as nations, there is no way to diminish threats posed by nuclear weapons, pollution, and climate change unless we do so by collaborating with other nations. As a species, we currently hold the power to save or destroy millions of lives. Operating in isolation, escalating conflicts rather than defusing them, will only increase the likelihood of mutually assured destruction. This is not a path we must follow.