Science – it is not just for the classroom anymore.

February 6, 2008 | By | 3 Replies More

I believe that a strong foundation of critical thinking, innovation, curiousity about the natural world, rigorous adherence to non-biased exploration, and a bent toward problem solving is part of what has made our country great. I think science, when at its best, fosters those characteristics, and can help us continue on a forward path. Science can point us in a direction that helps not only our nation, but our planet as well – including the economy, the global economy.

Under the present US administration science has taken a beating, which is not just a bad thing for science, but for all of us in pretty much any way I can think about. Social issues, jobs, medicine, quality of life, energy, jobs, everything we do is informed by how we see the world and we interact with it.

Please get behind this – a call for public debate where presidential candidates will discuss views on this important topic. Such a debate will reveal important information about how they view science, what it means to explore our planet, and the importance they place on this endeavor.

I think our lives depend on it.

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About the Author ()

Lisa lives and works in the city of St. Louis, and is striving to develop the right mix of both while asking herself what it means to live a good life.

You can follow her on twitter http://www.twitter.com/lisarokusek

Comments (3)

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  1. Dan Klarmann says:

    I've been watching the whole Presidential Science Debate movement with interest. To nuanced thinkers, it looks like a good idea. However, a single-subject debate is unlikely to do any better than the regular debates in exposing how a candidate is likely to act, once elected.

    Any public debate will be an exchange of politically dangerous questions parried by barely relevant (at best) talking points. Several candidates have already come out as theology-over-science activists. Others are cagey, and don't actually say this. Still others work hard to give the impression that they can be reigned in by the church, even though they are only nominally religious.

    In Dubya's final State of the Union address, he declared (in opposition of his every action) that government should not curtail scientific exploration nor censor disclosure. But later in the same speech he said that all science should be ruled by strong moral guidance. I'm guessing that his White House censorship of NIH, EPA, and FDA studies (among others) represents this guidance.

    To an undereducated populace, an intellectual debate would only serve to separate the ivory-tower flip-floppers (evidence based thinkers) from the true leaders (purveyors of comforting sound bites).

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    I signed up. Thanks for the post. This is a critically important issue. Are we going to try to be cognizant of the intricacies of the world or are we content to continue our slide into superstition.

    Our government sets the tone for future research and it sends out lots of money to get research started (though that is changing to the detriment of pure science–design weapons and it's a different story).

    The sad state of government interference with science is summed up at the site of the Union of Concerned Scientists http://www.ucsusa.org/scientific_integrity/interf… and in these political cartoons http://www.ucsusa.org/scientific_integrity/scienc

  3. Erika Price says:

    A few weeks ago, NPR's Talk of the Nation had a discussion with a former Presidential Science Adviser. Apparently, the Science Adviser once had an office in the White House, right in the middle of the political action. Now the Science Adviser is shelled away in a building down the street. But the President needs his Science Adviser not only because so many scientific issues have become relevant today, but because a scientific perspective can illuminate many faulty claims and promote critical thinking.

    I don't know what good a science debate would do- only heathen geeks like us would watch it. Instead I'd just like to see more scientific topics covered in the mainstream campaign. We need to emphasize science's importance in everyday life, and make it more approachable to both the public and politicians.

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