2016. An Election year in the United States. It’s nearly impossible to turn on the television, pull up news on the computer, or scan your social media accounts without seeing some sort of political news. Often the coverage is about the horse race aspect of the election— polling numbers, for example—or the candidates’ whereabouts on the campaign trail. Occasionally the coverage is policy based. Rarely, though does this include a candidate’s views on scientific issues.
Earlier this month ScienceDebate.org released 20 science questions to which it would like the Presidential candidates to respond. The Biophysical Society assisted in the creation and vetting of the questions and endorsed the final list. Along with other leading science organizations, the Society would very much like to hear where Clinton, Trump, and the third party candidates stand on these important questions that touch on vaccines, climate change, jobs, and research. The questions received attention from the press, but the candidates have yet to respond. We hope that they will in the coming weeks. We also hope to see some of these questions posed in the national debates.
ScienceDebate.org was originally started in late 2007 to garner support for science issues to be included in Presidential debates prior to the 2008 election. Candidates Obama and McCain did go on record with responses to the questions then; here’s hoping Clinton and Trump let us know where they stand!