We just finished the 2017 US Invitational Young Physicists Tournament at the University of the Sciences, Philadelphia. Please congratulate Rye Country Day School of Rye, New York for their victory. I'll post full tournament results in a few days.
Below is my brief, slightly edited, address to the assembled throngs tournament's closing ceremonies. The audience consisted primarily of high school student participants.
I need to make sure you all know where I stand, though it's not like you probably don't know already.
I believe in physics fights. I believe in this tournament. I believe in having us all together every year, where we compete with each other; but where we are also colleagues. Where we award a trophy, but where we also talk to one another as physicists. Where we have people from seven different American states, and two different other countries. (Five of our schools are from the same country - China - but they are from all over China, just like the American schools are from all over the USA.) Folks, we have people from all over the world, of diverse backgrounds, all speaking the common language of physics. That, above all, is what the USIYPT is about.
I cannot countermand executive orders. I can not make laws in the United States. I have no influence there. And it's just as well that I have no influence there. I am not a politician.
Where I do have influence, though: I can help all these folks get together to speak the common language of physics to each other in person, to build relationships... such that in ten or twenty years, when YOUR generation is in charge of this country or your respective countries, you will know good people in America. You will know good people in China. You will know good people in Tunisia. You will have the relationships and the background -- both a scientific background and a cultural background -- such that you can make different decisions.
And I hope that by then the world will be a better place, due in very small part to our efforts.