I have joined ranks with Mooney and Kirshenbaum in my support of a presidential debate on science and technology policy. I see important reasons for this debate. Sciencedebate 2008
First, science and technology are either at the forefront of many current issues (global warming an embryonic stem cells) and are an underlying aspect of many addition issues (cost effective pharmaceuticals for the elderly). Here is where I see the greatest benefit from this type of debate. Determining where the candidates stand on certain issues and most importantly why they have that stance.
Second, I want to know how these candidates view science. Currently, our society has, at least a tolerance in, the idea that facts are akin to beliefs. There is an undercurrent of antagonism towards science, rationalism, intellectualism etc. In a variety of speeches, the candidates have reinforced this view in my mind. When 3/9 republican candidates raise their hands in response to the question "Which of you DO NOT believe in the theory of evolution?" without a show of embarrassment or subsequent backpedaling you know there is a problem. From this kind of debate we can find out who answers questions related to science and technology policy accurately or who answers in such a way as to appease the religious right.
When I joined I posted a question that will never get used, though I am sure many are posting something similar. I do not have the quote but it was approximately...."All of the candidates have expressed the importance of faith in their lives and policy decisions. My question is what will the candidates do if they learn that the best available science directly contradicts one of their beliefs, one current example could be the intelligent design-evolution issue. (Obviously there are a plethora of examples global warming, nukes in Iraq, abstinence-only sex education, etc.)
Sign up, tell your Congressional representatives, teachers, university officials, religious leaders, etc. to support this debate as well.
How can you trust non-gardeners?
4 hours ago in The Phytophactor