The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Enriquez talks politics at Tate Lecture

Juan Enriquez touched on a growing schism between rich and poor and the evolving field of biotechnology during visit to the Hilltop on Tuesday.

Enriquez has written books about both topics and talked extensively about both issues.

He believes that countries get in trouble when they promise citizens one thing and do another.

“Museums are filled with countries that have died off that way,” he said.

Enriquez says countries don’t realize how fragile their institutions are, and that causes them to make bad choices. He pointed out that nations who isolate ethnic groups or attack certain populations begin problems that are not easily stopped.

“When you get these groups angry and alienated from the political process, that is when the problems reach a tipping point,” Enriquez said.

He said that the U.S. government is alienating young people with its current fiscal policy, which spends $22,000 on people over 65 and $2,000 on those under 16.

“It’s an interesting decision to have such a disparity, and one that could cause unforeseen problems,” Enriquez said.

He also decried the large tax breaks given to the upper tax brackets, saying Americans were borrowing against the future. Enriquez said any tax scheme that forces his children to have to pay for current tax cuts was not fair.

“That’s not a tax cut, that’s funny money,” he said.

Enriquez discussed the trend of foreign students not coming to America and instead staying home for school or work.

“These students have been an engine of growth in this country,” Enriquez said.

He mentioned that Harvard has seen drops as large as 60 percent in the number of applications to graduate level math and science programs from outside countries. Enriquez said that for too long, America has had to import minds instead of creating its own. To fix that, he believes there should be a renewed focus on the public education system.

“We seem to think that if we pass someone through our schools then we will be OK — we’re not,” Enriquez said.

He said pockets of America would be left behind if the educational system does not improve.

Enriquez then moved on to his other area of expertise, the growing field of biotechnology.

Addressing the young people at the student forum, he said the interesting part about research is that it constantly changes and is always new.

“You never know what is going to happen next,” he said.

Enriquez described a recent trip to Alberta, Canada, where a new medical school complex was being built. It was not the location that was memorable but rather what was going on inside of it.

Advanced computer-imaging systems for specific parts of the body filled the rooms in the hospital, according to Enriquez.

“There are the traditional specialties, but now there are so many subsets because everything is becoming more advanced,” he said.

He mentioned that many if not all of these jobs did not exist 10 or even five years ago.

“It’s an exciting time to be in this field, because you are constantly working on things that haven’t been done before,” Enriquez said.

Enriquez is currently the CEO of Biotechonomy, a life sciences research firm. He is also the author of two books, one about biosciences and the other an analysis of the U.S. population.

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