Sheril Kirschenbaum and Chris Mooney at The Intersection are spearheading a push to get the candidates running for president to address issues of science and public policy. Their goal:
Given the many urgent scientific and technological challenges facing America and the rest of the world, the increasing need for accurate scientific information in political decision making, and the vital role scientific innovation plays in spurring economic growth and competitiveness, we call for a public debate in which the U.S. presidential candidates share their views on the issues of The Environment, Health and Medicine, and Science and Technology Policy.
I think that’s a dialogue that’s largely been missing from the campaigns so far, and maybe its one that we have a chance to do something about. They’ve already got a really impressive list of supporters from Nobel laureates to University presidents. Now, they are developing a coalition of bloggers, and there’s even a Facebook group. Want to get involved? Blog about it, join the Facebook group, and add your voice to the support.
What would the candidates talk about at such a debate?
Janet at Adventures in Ethics in Science has put forth eight great questions she’d like the candidates to answer. For example:
2. What role do you think scientific findings should play in public policy debates?
…8. If sound scientific research were to demonstrate that one of your policy initiatives couldn’t work (or couldn’t work without tremendous cost in terms of money, health risk, negative environmental impact, etc.), what would you do?
Zuska at Thus Spake Zuska added two excellent questions about gender equity.
What questions would I want to see asked? I think I’d focus my questions on “The Environment.”
- What steps would you help America take to reduce our carbon emissions?
- How would you incentivize conservation and green technology?
- In particular, how would you help those in lower socio-economic classes adopt green technology and reduce their carbon emissions?
- How would you convince developing nations, with burgeoning populations and burgeoning carbon emissions, that it in our collective interest to develop along cleaner, greener pathways?
- What has your campaign done to reduce its environmental impact?
What would you ask the candidates in ScienceDebate 2008? Will you lend your support to help make such a debate a reality?