Friday, June 20, 2008

The 7 science questions every Congressional candidate should answer


A coalition of science organizations organized by Scientists and Engineers for America released a set of questions today that should be asked of every Congressional candidate in the country. Of the 7 questions, 6 are directly earth science related or relevant. Only the health care question is not something that falls into our purview.

A set of questions intended for the presidential candidates will be forthcoming and I'll post about them as well.

The Questions

  1. Innovation. Science and technology have been responsible for half of the growth of the American economy since World War II. But several recent reports question America’s continued leadership in these vital areas. What policies would you support to ensure that America remains the world leader in innovation?
  2. Climate Change. The Earth’s climate is changing and there is concern about the potentially adverse effects of these changes on life on the planet. What is your position on the following measures that have been proposed to address global climate change—a cap-and-trade system, a carbon tax, increased fuel-economy standards, and research? Are there other policies you would support?
  3. Energy. Many scientists and policymakers say energy security and sustainability are major problems facing the United States this century. What policies would you support to meet the demand for energy while ensuring an economically and environmentally sustainable future?
  4. Education. A comparison of 15-year-olds in 30 wealthy nations found that average science scores among U.S. students ranked 17th, while average U.S. math scores ranked 24th. What role do you think the federal government should play in preparing K-12 students for the science and technology driven 21st Century?
  5. Water. Thirty-nine states expect some level of water shortage over the next decade, and scientific studies suggest that a majority of our water resources are at risk. What policies would you support to meet demand for water resources?
  6. Research. For many years, Congress has recognized the importance of science and engineering research to realizing our national goals. Given that the next Congress will likely face spending constraints, what priority would you give to investment in basic research in upcoming budgets?
  7. Health. Americans are increasingly concerned with the cost, quality, and availability of health care. How do you see science, research, and technology contributing to improved health and quality of life?

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