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.
- It's crucial for security issues, because so many security concerns are tied to our dependency on foreign oil. Our leaders need to know what the pros and cons of each energy alternative are.
- It's crucial for environmental issues, especially global warming. Leaders need to understand the magnitude of the threat, the wide spectrum of potential consequences, and the set of things we can do to mitigate the problems.
- It's crucial for economic issues, because science and technology are such an important part of the US and the world economy. We need to be prepared for the future (see for example the report Rising above the gathering storm).
- Would they allow stem cell research with frozen embryos? [It is not clear that this is a moot point yet.]
- Do they believe in evolution? Can they articulate what evolution is? Should religious ideas be taught in science classes?
- Which is more important, putting humans in space (which includes building things to allow them to survive, like space stations), or putting scientific instruments in space (e.g., space telescopes and robotic landers)?