The latest publication of Issues In Science And Technology features an article I co-authored with ScienceDebate CEO Shawn Lawrence Otto. We discuss building the ScienceDebate2008 initiative, lessons from the election, and what’s needed to create an environment where the public’s understanding and appreciation of science policy will make scientists critical in the political process. Here’s an excerpt from Science on the Campaign Trail:
Probing further, the Science Debate team learned that science was seen as a niche topic by the campaigns, and a presidential debate dedicated to science policy issues such as climate change, innovation, research, health care, energy, ocean health, stem cells, and the like was viewed as requiring extensive preparation and posing high risk for a limited return.
Science Debate 2008 wanted to test this assumption, so it partnered with Research!America and hired Harris to conduct a national poll. The results were astounding: Fully 85% of U.S. adults said the presidential candidates should participate in a debate to discuss key policy problems facing the United States, such as health care, climate change, and energy, and how science can help tackle them. There was virtually no difference across party lines. Contrary to the candidates’ assumptions, science is of broad concern to the public.
I’ll let readers know when our full piece becomes available online. Also note the Issues cover image above is that of the previous issue.