There is quite a bit of activity in the blogosphere about this initiative. Have a look…
Coturnix at A Blog Around the Clock has worked his encyclopedic magic to make a magic encyclopedia of related posts, here.
The Los Angeles Times has this:
Whether the issue is global warming, embryonic stem cell research, ballistic missile defense or the future of the world’s oceans, the same bass line thumps in the background: Sound political decision-making relies, more than ever before, on accurate scientific information.
As advances in science and technology continually transform our world, policymaking will inevitably depend more and more on accurate scientific and technical information. Which means that in order to be a successful world leader today, a politician must have an effective means of accessing and applying the latest science.
This fact — combined with the undisputed importance of scientific research and innovation to national prosperity and competitiveness — explains the recent emergence of a group called ScienceDebate2008. Under its auspices, scientists, university presidents, industry leaders, elected representatives and others have endorsed a call for the current U.S. presidential candidates to participate in a debate, or a series of debates, dedicated to issues in science and technology….
And here, on the Huffington Post, Chapman and Kirshenbaum engage in some deeper explanation:
…We are not proposing a pop quiz or an argument, but rather, we are suggesting an illuminating debate. The electorate should have the opportunity to hear the candidates discuss their policy positions on our many scientific and technological challenges, what their ethical positions are in relation to them, and what their aspirations are.
We do not approach discussion of these issues with a gloomy or adversarial attitude. Along with such people as Newt Gingrich and many church leaders, we acknowledge there are serious problems that must be faced, that we have a moral obligation to face them, but also that within these problems lie opportunities that can bring out the best in the entrepreneurial American spirit. America can be a leader in finding cures for our worst diseases, invent the best alternative energy sources, and graduate the most scientifically literate children in the world. But if optimism is not followed by sound policy, if we do not ensure that these things happen here, they will happen elsewhere and America will concede huge economic and humanitarian benefits to other countries….