Saturday, July 21, 2012

Science questions for the presidential candidates

"Whenever the people are well-informed," Thomas Jefferson wrote, "they can be trusted with their own government."  
Science now affects every aspect of life and is an increasingly important topic in national policymaking. invited thousands of scientists, engineers and concerned citizens to submit what they felt were the the most important science questions facing the nation that the candidates for president should be debating on the campaign trail.  

ScienceDebate then worked with the leading US science and engineering organizations listed at left to refine the questions and arrive at a universal consensus on what the most important science policy questions facing the United States are in 2012.

The questions cover the areas of  Innovation, Climate Change, Research and the Future, Pandemics and Biosecurity, Education, Energy, Food, Fresh Water, The Internet, Ocean Health, Science in Public Policy,  Space, Critical Natural Resources, and Vaccination and Public Health

Other participating organizations include the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the American Institute of Physics, the American Physical Society, the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the
American Society of Chemical Engineering, the Council on Competitiveness, the US Institute of Electricians and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences,, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. Scientific American magazine served as the media partner for the endeavor.

[taken from the Science Debate and AGI announcements]

1 comment:

  1. Tim Peshek9:43 AM

    Science debate is a good introductory step. However, I fear that the civilian populace that keeps science and technology at arm's length would not be swayed by boilerplate responses to those questions. As a scientist I find these questions somewhat lacking in scope and detail, and the question format of "X is very important. What would you do to safeguard X?", simply reinforces sound byte answers. The questions need to be more precise.
    I would pose a question on renewable energy thusly, for example: "Are you aware of a recent study that indicated the true cost of government expenditures on infrastructure repair due to the burning of fossil fuels amounts to an added X cents/kwH, and do you favor mandating this cost as a tax on energy providers?"