Debate Science … Please

Rudy makes an excellent point in this week's editorial--none of the three primary presidential candidates has really addressed the science and technology issues facing the U.S. and the world. A second invitation to Science Debate 2008 for next month has been extended to the candidates. Should this invitation prove more successful than the first (consider urging your candidate of choice to participate), what are the issues you would like to see them tackle? Or feel free to debate the Debate itself--do you think it will force the candidates to really consider science and technology, or do you foresee an event of noncommittal rhetoric?

Author: Rachel Pepling

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  1. In principle, a science debate would be useful. A Republican, however, would be foolish to get in any forum where the agenda was set by the standard nonpartisan science groups because those groups, while nonpartisan, lean left. (see this point fleshed out a little at

  2. I wouldn’t want to sit through an hour of candidates promising farmer subsidies for bio-diesel.

  3. What do you expect from 2 lawyers and one career politician? In fact, when you look back at the primaries for both Democrats and Republicans and take the top six from both sides only Ron Paul has a science backgound (7 have law degrees- Romney, Guiliani, Thompson, Biden, Clinton, Edwards and Obama). Most people don’t reach 50 or 60 years of age and suddenly get “a science itch” so why should we expect that from our politicians? What we need in the future is to bridge the gap between our scientists and political office. We need to cultivate a society where a scientist is just as likely to run for political office as a lawyer or a MBA. That is the real challenge facing science in the future. Until we have scientists running for office at the local, state and federal levels many of our concerns, I’m afraid, will be brushed aside.