As many of you know, I have been touting the Science Debate effort for many months now, because issues of science, technology, and science education are too important to be sidelined in our political discourse (especially in an election year!) This year, the fine folks at Science Debate have not only been holding the presidential candidates’ feet to the fire, but they have also been putting Congressional candidates on the spot. And now some Congressional candidates have answered the challenge
Congressional Answers to the Top American Science Questions
ScienceDebate.org and Scientific American asked 33 leaders of science-oriented congressional committees to respond.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington — October 16, 2012. Americans have all heard about the scandalously anti-science comments made by certain members of the House committee on Science, Space and Technology. ScienceDebate.org and our media partner, Scientific American, the nation’s oldest continuously published magazine, wanted to see what other members of congress in key leadership positions relative to the nation’s science policy had to say about science.
We prepared a subset of eight of the fourteen Top American Science Questions which President Obama and Governor Romney have answered, ranging from climate change to science in public policy, and asked thirty-three members of congress in leadership positions on the nation’s science-oriented congressional committees to respond.
Six of them declined outright, including Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner, who were asked to participate because of their overall responsibility for the flow of legislation through congress. Several more ignored numerous requests from ScienceDebate and Scientific American. Nine of the thirty-three responded.
“Americans should be concerned that only nine of the thirty-three key leaders on science-related congressional committees feel the need to let the public know their views on science,” said Shawn Otto, CEO of ScienceDebate.org. “As to the nine who did respond—members of both parties—their leadership should be applauded.”
Senators who responded
Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, Chair, Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
Tom Harkin, D-IA, Chair, Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
Jay Rockefeller, D-W, Chair, Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
Representatives who responded
Timothy Bishop, D-NY-1, Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment
Ralph Hall, R-TX-4, Chair, Committee on Science, Space and Technology
John Mica, R-FL-7, Chair, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
Nancy Pelosi, D-CA-8, House Minority Leader
Chris Van Hollen, D-MD-8, Ranking Member, House Budget Committee
Henry Waxman, D-CA-30, Ranking Member, Energy and Commerce Committee