The Intersection

WIRED on ScienceDebate2008

i-8808a1a70f2b4c43ecb40c250ca68be3-sciencedebate2008.jpg There’s wonderful reason I’ve been quieter here than usual… ScienceDebate2008 has hit the ground running to so much enthusiasm and excitement, Chris and I are incredibly busy keeping up with all the hullabaloo! And we’re also having a lot of fun working to make this incredible idea into a reality…

We’ve been following the blogosphere and media reports, and here’s the latest from WIRED:

A Who’s Who of America’s top scientists are launching a quixotic last-minute effort this week to force presidential candidates to detail the role science would play in their administrations — a question they say is key to the future of the country, if not the world.

“Right now we have a confluence of issues facing candidates: embryonic stem cell research, global warming, science and technology education, biotechnology and energy policy — it’s just becoming an avalanche,” says Lawrence Krauss, a physics professor at Case Western University, and author of the bestselling The Physics of Star Trek. “I think at some level, you have to get some insight into what the candidates know, or what they’re willing to learn.”

Exactly Lawrence. More here

How can you get involved?

Enter your support online. Tell everyone you know. Join our Facebook group for updates. Use your voice, your pen, your ideas… and remember, as Jane Goodall tells us:

Every individual matters.
Every individual has a role to play.
Every individual makes a difference


  1. #1 Emily
    December 14, 2007

    I hardly think that this is a “Quixotic last-minute effort” – have we forgotten that this election season has stretched much further beyond the boundaries of what is ‘normal’? There is still plenty of time to stand up a well-organized debate for this very important topic!

  2. #2 Chris C. Mooney
    December 14, 2007

    The only one being quixotic here is this reporter.

  3. #3 Chris C. Mooney
    December 14, 2007

    Sheril, a supporting quote (wink):

    “Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.”

    — Galadriel

  4. #4 Jason Coleman
    December 14, 2007

    I’m a big supporter of the Science Debate idea and I am not sure how we got into a situation when 11 months prior to a an election was thought of as “last minute.” Also, I believe there is enough interest and momentum in the public mind that this is definitely not “quixotic” (though not an easy task, either).

    I do think Chris’s statement above sounds a bit like a kid saying ‘no, you’re quixotic. Nyah, nyah!’ 🙂 The report used what I feel is inaccurate, but I don’t think I’d describe it as quixotic, either.

  5. #5 Sheril R. Kirshenbaum
    December 14, 2007

    Regarding Time:

    It is precisely because it is late in the scheme of things and the candidates have not yet talked much about science that this debate is more urgent than ever. We must collectively insist science becomes a priority in the national – and global – dialog.

  6. #6 Wes Rolley
    December 14, 2007

    Today, Green Party Presidential Candidate Kent Mesplay has just put out a press release about Bali and Climate Change in which he mentions the Science Debate. Text is at Green Commons.

    Of course, Mesplay (Ph.D. in BioMechanical Engineering, Northwestern Univ.) might have a distinct advantage.

  7. #7 Karen
    December 14, 2007

    Has anyone contacted Vote Smart? I’ve long wished for a good set of science issue positions on their site.

  8. #8 Open English
    December 14, 2007

    I think it’s really great that there is so much buzz and attention around the debates. Congratulations, this is SUCH an important issue and everyone needs to know that.

  9. #9 Randy Olson
    December 15, 2007

    There’s a cartoon in the New Yorker this week of a guy talking on the phone saying, “Making a difference doesn’t make a difference.”

  10. #10 Sheril R. Kirshenbaum
    December 15, 2007

    That’s laughable coming from the very fellow always mixing things up who truly does make a difference! Randy Olson (for readers who don’t know) is the esteemed documentary filmmaker of Flock of Dodos and a fantastic marine ecologist to boot. His name appears as a original signatory for ScienceDebate 2008 and it’s also worth pointing out he shares my affinity for the ever charismatic sea cucumber.

    And so RO, guess you prove the New Yorker wrong. Looking forward to seeing you in a couple weeks over on the left coast.

  11. #11 Eric the Leaf
    December 17, 2007

    “Men go and come, but Earth abides.”

    — George R. Stewart (Ecclesiastes)

  12. #12 Fuller Wiser
    December 18, 2007

    Right-wingers like to hark back to the 1950s when they’re looking for a Golden Age during which everything was great and peachy keen until the dirty hippies messed it up.

    Apart from the obvious inaccuracies of that outlook, one thing that looms large in the history of the 1950s was a national obsession with SCIENCE. Science was the key to the future. Students were encouraged to study the hell out of science, chemistry sets sold by the truckload, and prominent groups of science enthusiasts could be found in every small town across the country.

    How did we get from there to a time when political candidates actually gain support by denying and minimizing the importance of science? I’m boggled.

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