originally published December 10, 2007 by Chris C. Mooney
So, finally, Sheril and I can tell you what we've been working on.
Let's begin with some background: Nearly a month ago, I linked up with Matthew Chapman, the author, screenwriter, and great grandson of Charles Darwin. Chapman, I already knew, had a great idea that I wanted to write about in my forthcoming Seed column: A call for a debate among the current crop of presidential candidates solely devoted to issues in science and technology.
One thing led to another, and before long--along with many others, including Sheril (whose contribution has been invaluable) and Physics of Star Trek author Lawrence Krauss-- I was helping Chapman organize a push to make this happen. First we got together a distinguished list of scientific luminaries, and later, we assembled a complementary blogger coalition, all in support of the following statement:
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, the undersigned, call for a public debate in which the U.S. presidential candidates share their views on the issues of The Environment, Medicine and Health, and Science and Technology Policy.
And now, today, we're going public!
We're firmly convinced this is an idea whose time has come. The candidates need to talk science and technology policy on the campaign trail, and not in an occasional way, but in a debate format. Nobel Laureates, former presidential science advisers, leaders of industry and universities, and many others agree with us.
So we hope you'll visit the ScienceDebate2008 website, browse the lists (scientists, bloggers), click the button pledging your support, head over and also join us on Facebook--and above all, spread the word!!!!
This is an unfortunate post to choose as a "best of" considering the fact that you have let ScienceDebate 2008 rot into a blank website. Even if it did not turn out exactly like you wanted, the site should not have been allowed to go blank.
What are you talking about? The Science Debate 2008 website is live with constant updates and to date, nearly 40,000 people have signed on in support of the initiative. We're organizing state science debates for close races and universities have been developing interdisciplinary new curricula based on the movement. We will continue to grow with each cycle.
Just to clarify, the first Walker isn't me.
I'm really proud of the work Science Debate 2008 has done toward getting the candidates talking about science and technology... I really do think a debate is still possible, and if nothing else we have to keep working to get scientific questions plugged into the debates that are confirmed (a la Katie Couric on Digg and others).
A science debate would be a great idea, except that I'm not sure Obama versus 'Grandpa Simpson' http://www.snwmf.com/phorum/read.php?f=1&i=179376&t=179376 would be really fair...