Ask the U.S. Candidates to Debate Science!
Posted by mattusmaximus on August 16, 2016
Last summer I posted about how Science Debate is gearing up for the 2016 elections in the United States, in order to encourage the presidential and Congressional candidates to publicly debate science policy and science-related issues.
Now that the heat of the 2016 U.S. campaign season is upon us, with the first public debates between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump (and possibly Libertarian Gary Johnson) a bit over a month away, it is imperative that we speak out to get the debate hosts and these campaigns to make science a part of these debates. In fact, it isn’t just science geeks like me calling for such a debate, as – according to this 2015 poll – vast majorities of Americans (of all political stripes) wish for such a debate…
“An overwhelming majority of Americans (87%) say it is important that candidates for President and Congress have a basic understanding of the science informing public policy issues, including majorities across the political spectrum (92% of Democrats, 90% of Republicans and 79% of Independents). Americans also say the presidential candidates should participate in a debate to discuss key science-based challenges facing the United States, such as healthcare, climate change, energy, education, innovation and the economy, with 91% of Democrats, 88% of Republicans and 78% of Independents agreeing.”
So please pass the word, sign the Science Debate petition, or donate to the cause. One of the best ways to spread the word is to push for a ground-swell of support on social media and by contacting the campaigns directly. Toward that end, here is some advice from Shawn Otto, the founder of Science Debate…
Please alert your networks. Here is sample tweet language:
Separately, here’s a tweet from MediaMatters emphasizing our urging of the press to do a better job of covering science, engineering, tech, health & environmental issues this cycle:
When using social media use the #ScienceQs hashtag (hint: search here for other tweets). You may also reference the twitter handles of ScienceDebate and the candidates: @HillaryClinton @realDonaldTrump @GovGaryJohnson @DrJillStein @SciDebate @ShawnOtto @Sheril_ @aaas @theNASEM
A sampling of some of the initial domestic coverage on the questions (which should also be shared on social media – the more this is out there, the more pressure candidates will feel to respond promptly):
News releases by some of the partners: