There's a new initiative to get a presidential debate on issues of science and technology: Science Debate 2008 (list of supporting Important People (capital letters) and bloggers (no capital letters).) I'm all for the idea, since I know little about the candidates positions related to science and technology. Which of course, is a bad excuse, and thus led me to try to dig deep into the intertubes and see if I could find a list of the candidates positions on science and technology.
Here is a collection of some of the relevant links I could find. For some candidates it was quite hard to find any actual stances on science/technology/energy (I've added energy since this is often where the candidate talks about global warming and green technology.) Anyone who has more pointers to good content on the candidate's positions, please comment! After trying to find the relevant comments by candidates, I think I support the idea of a science/technology debate even more. With a few exceptions, these two issues are definitely not highlighted by the candidates, and seeing as how science/technology has probably had the biggest effect on our lives over the last century, I'd hope the candidates would have a little more to say than what I've found.
- Joe Biden: Online nation. Climate change. Science funding off the cuff remark. Energy policy.
- Hillary Clinton: Ending the war on science. Energy policy. Remarks at the Carnegie Institution for Science.
- Chris Dodd: Energy.
- John Edwards: Recharging Our Commitment To Innovation To Build One America. Blog interview on science.
- Dennis Kucinich: Energy policy.
- Barack Obama: Technology and Innovation for a New Generation. Energy plan. Obama and bubblesort
- Bill Richardson: Energy policy. More energy policy.
- Rudy Giuliani: NYTimes article on Energy policy. Technology as a tool to keep us safe.
- Mike Huckabee: Energy plan. Not writing a science book.
- Duncan Hunter: I dug, but the best I could find is here for some energy policy discussions.
- John McCain: Speech on energy policy., article on tech policy.
- Ron Paul: Youtube energy video.
- Mitt Romney: Energy policy. Interview on technology issues. Brief technology blurb.
- Tom Tancredo: Interview on energy policy.
- Fred Thompson: Energy policy. Wired interview on technology.
In Canada someone like Mike Huckabee would be shunned even by his 16 year old McDonald's co-workers. While seeing the fall of the roman empire part II in real time is sad, the US imploding and being dragged back to the dark ages does give us Canadians more buying power down there. Maybe if it keeps up we can entice president Huckabee to sell us California for some beach wood that looks like Jesus.
NYTimes has thins helpful little chart of the candidates' statements on climate:
Thanks, Dave! I was previously indifferent between Clinton and Obama (in much the same way that a drowning person being eaten by sharks might be indifferent between two rescue boats). But after reading that "Ending The War On Science" document, I now have to lean toward Clinton until and unless Obama makes a similarly clear statement.
Barack Obama at Google:
Eric Schmidt: "Now, senator, I like to think of the presidency as a job interview. Now, it's hard to get a job as president -- it's also hard to get a job at Google. we have questions, and we ask our candidates questions, so here's one from Larry Schwimmer:
What is the most efficient way to sort 1,000,000 32-bit integers?"
[ Obama thinks for awhile ]
Eric Schmidt: "I'm just kidding, you don't have to -"
Eric Schmidt: "Oh, I'm sorry, no you don't --"
Obama: " I think ... I think bubblesort would be the wrong way to go"
[ crowd goes wild ]
Let's get them talking about quantum computation -- perhaps additional funding for the great programs run in the Northwest.
By the way Dave, on your group's home page you say that the group is ". . . interested in the two big questions of quantum computing: "How can we build a fault-tolerant quantum computer?" and "What can we do with such a quantum computer once it is built?""
I think you left out the BIG question: "Why can we build a quantum computer?" I know it's more philosophical in nature, but the right answer might help guide useful lines of research -- or maybe not :)
"Why can we build a quantum computer?"
(1) Quantum Mechanics works. Computers work. Take a superposition...
(2) Because Feynman said so.