Members of U.S. Congress Refuse to Address Science Debate Questions
Posted by mattusmaximus on September 2, 2012
As I’ve written more than once this election season, there is a big effort by Science Debate 2012 underway to get the U.S. presidential candidates – Barack Obama and Mitt Romney – to address questions oriented around science, technology, and engineering as part of their campaign. Thankfully, both campaigns have agreed to address those questions.
By extension, the Science Debate team decided to expand their effort to include key members of the U.S. Congress, including both the House of Representatives and Senate. Unfortunately, to date, only two members of Congress have responded to these questions! Shawn Otto from Science Debate has more on this…
I’m a pretty reasonable guy, but this is stunning to me. Of the many committee leaders in Congress who deal with the nation’s science policy, just two — Reps Henry Waxman and Chris Van Hollen — have responded to the ScienceDebate questions. And House Speaker John Boehner’s team has outright declined!
Science drives over half of US economic growth and lies at the center of several of our most critical challenges and opportunities. Many of the leading science organizations in the United States arrived at a consensus on the Top American Science Questions: Congressional Edition, and the effort is supported by nearly two hundred science organizations and universities, and tens of thousands of individuals, ranging from concerned citizens to Nobel laureates and corporate CEOs.
And yet, members of Congress are ignoring the ScienceDebate questionnaire, submitted to them by Scientific American magazine, or declining to answer any questions about their policy views!
Please contact the following Congress Members’ offices right now and ask them to respond to the ScienceDebate and Scientific American questionnaire immediately. Be respectful, and tell in your own words why this is important. Ask them to send their responses back to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lamar Alexander: Tennessee (R)—ranking member, Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
Barbara Boxer: California (D)—chair, Committee on Environment and Public Works
Jim DeMint: South Carolina (R)—member, Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation (Ranking Member Kay Bailey Hutchinson is retiring)
Michael Enzi: Wyoming (R)—ranking member, Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
Dianne Feinstein: California (D)—chair, Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
Tom Harkin: Iowa (D)—chair, Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
James Inhofe: Oklahoma (R)—ranking member, Committee on Environment and Public Works
Mitch McConnell: Kentucky (R)—Senate minority leader
Patty Murray: Washington State (D)—member, Committee on the Budget (Chairman Kent Conrad is retiring)
Lisa Murkowski: Alaska (R)—ranking member, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
Harry Reid: Nevada (D)—Senate majority leader
Pat Roberts: Kansas (R)—ranking member, Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry
Jay Rockefeller: West Virginia (D)—chair, Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
Jeff Sessions: Alabama (R)—ranking member, Committee on the Budget
Debbie Stabenow: Michigan (D)—chair, Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry
Ron Wyden: Oregon (D)—member, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (Chairman Jeff Bingaman is retiring)
House of Representatives
Timothy Bishop: New York State–1 (D)—ranking member, Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment
John Boehner: Ohio–8 (R)—speaker of the House
Scott Garrett: New Jersey–5 (R)—vice chair, Committee on the Budget (Chair Paul Ryan is the Republican vice presidential candidate)
Bob Gibbs: Ohio–18 (R)—chair, Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment
Ralph Hall: Texas–4 (R)—chair, Committee on Science, Space and Technology
Doc Hastings: Washington State–4 (R)—chair, Committee on Natural Resources
Eddie Bernice Johnson: Texas–30 (D)—ranking member, Committee on Science, Space and Technology
Frank Lucas: Oklahoma–3 (R)—chair, Committee on Agriculture; member of Committee on Science, Space and Technology
Edward J. Markey: Massachusetts–7 (D)—ranking member, Committee on Natural Resources
John Mica: Florida–7 (R)—chair, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
Nancy Pelosi: California–8 (D)—House minority leader
-Shawn Otto and the team at ScienceDebate.Org
Folks, we need to change this situation. These are our elected officials, placed onto committees which decide issues of great scientific, technological, engineering, and educational importance which affect all of our lives. Most especially if you are a constituent of theirs, please consider contacting the Congressmembers above and tell them you want them to respond to the Science Debate challenge.