Monday, December 10, 2007

Sciencedebate 2008

Do you think it's important that the President of the USA be scientifically literate? There is now a formal call for a presidential debate that would focus on science and technology policy. This call is being made by such noted scientists as David Baltimore, Ken Miller, Bill Nye and Harold Varmus. It also includes David Kennedy, editor-in-chief of Science; Shirley Tilghman, president of Princeton Univ., Niles Eldredge, curator at The American Museum of Natural History as well as several congressmen and congresswomen.

We believe current scientific and technological challenges can bring out the best in the entrepreneurial American spirit. America can be a leader in finding cures for our worst diseases, invent the best alternative energy sources, and graduating the most scientifically literate children in the world - or we can concede these economic and humanitarian benefits to other countries.

We believe a debate on the policy side of these issues would be the ideal opportunity for America and the candidates to explore our national priorities on the issues, and it is hard to imagine any candidate not wishing to be involved in such an occasion.

How many candidates do you think would agree to such a debate? Do you think such a debate would just end up being a display of scientific illiteracy on the part of the candidates?

Obviously we would need to have someone other than the slick haired talking head pundits ask the questions. Some people that actually know something about science and science policy. Questions concerning energy independence, ethics of stem cell research, view on evolution theory, whether the US must maintain its technological and scientific lead over the world.

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