Editor's Note: Social and ethical responsibilities of researchers, the public's skepticism about science, the threat of tighter economic constraints on biomedical investigation, equality for women and minorities, the increasing difficulties in building a stable career in research--these were among the themes addressed by this year's commencement speakers at academic institutions throughout the United States and Canada. Following are excerpts from speeches made by several noted scientists; the selections are drawn from transcripts supplied by the institutions.

Now I stand at the helm of the Human Genome Project, an audacious effort to determine the sequence of the entire human blueprint and the hundred thousand genes that make us what we are. We expect to have this done by year 2005. This is the most important scientific effort that humankind has ever undertaken.

And yet there are times--and you will experience this, too--when I'm restless, when there seems that there must be...

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