Sunday, September 07, 2008

Science Debate 2008

I just came across the Science Debate site, which began with 6 individuals who wanted to promote getting science related issues back into the political debate process. I am so glad this developed into an enormous movement, with tens of thousands of scientists endorsing it, along with the major scientific agencies and institutions ranging from the National Academy of Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and numerous universities. Many of my friends and colleagues in science and engineering have been placed into a state of 'shock and awe' during the Bush years, for their interference and blatant editing of scientific manuscripts (mostly those related to climate change and the impact humans have had on climate)coming from science agencies within the federal government. Regardless of who wins the election, we need to place an end to such interference.

This group finalized a list of 14 science policy questions, and submitted them to Sens. Obama and McCain. Obama has responded; McCain has not yet done so. See Sen. Obama's responses here. The questions range from energy to health issues, and genetics, stem cells, climate change and water supplies.

I do hope Sen. McCain submits answers. I worry about some of his judgment regarding science when his running mate selection of Sarah Palin was made. She promotes ideas including creationism/intelligent design in high school science classes, insistence on abstinence-only sex education (even though this has been shown to not be as effective as other types of education programs in high schools; unfortunately her daughter's pregnancy may be further evidence), and a conclusion that humans have not contributed to climate change (and has been as aggressive as anyone to promote more oil development and usage - it is unclear to me, at least, how serious she is for other types of energy development), and I can only assume a strong dismissal of stem-cell research and perhaps some genetics research. Should McCain win, and should something happen to him, we would then have a President with these strong views.

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