The Honorary Chair's Remarks
... A bridge between the world of ideas and the world of action...
Together, I believe we are building the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy into a nationally recognized center — one that will draw statesmen, scholars and students from around the world into its innovative and integrated activities.
My vision for the institute is simple: to build a bridge between the world of ideas and the world of action.
In my view, we need to work more diligently at nurturing the ties between these two worlds.
In the pursuit of truth, scholars often neglect the hard, worldly realities that impinge on ideal solutions and the day-to-day requirements that drive or constrain the statesman's options. And in their pursuit of the public good through power, statesmen often are disdainful of the world of ideas, closing out all outside advice and living in a cloistered world of their own making.
The institute, in short, should bridge these two worlds. Scholars
should learn firsthand from statesmen of the practical imperatives that
impact policy, oftentimes making "the perfect" the enemy of "the good."
Statesmen and policymakers should hear from scholars rigorous,
logical — (and always practical) — analyses of how to improve the work they
do. And students, the next generation of scholars and statesmen, should
be enriched through participation in this dialogue and go on to become
better scholars and statesmen as a result.
James A. Baker, III
Excerpted from "Ideas Into Action: A Vision for the Baker Institute"