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scientists push candidates for positions on science December 14, 2007

Posted by KG in 2008 Elections, news, politics, religion, science, tech.
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disagreeing with bill nye the science guy really is beyond the pale…

wired:

A Who’s Who of America’s top scientists are launching a quixotic last-minute effort this week to force presidential candidates to detail the role science would play in their administrations — a question they say is key to the future of the country, if not the world.

The candidates did not respond immediately, but most of the Democratic contenders for the White House have released science policies. And Sen. Hillary Clinton has repeatedly slammed the Bush administration’s science record.

Republican candidates can be forgiven for not immediately responding to the call for a dialog on science. Iowa front-runners Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee were busy sparring this week over whether Romney believes Satan and Jesus Christ are brothers — a relatively obscure doctrine of Romney’s Mormon faith.

But also on board are 11 Nobel laureates in science, the editor of Scientific American, the president of Princeton University, Bill Nye the Science Guy, and other academic luminaries in the field. Krauss calls the drive bi-bipartisan, noting the inclusion of Norm Augustine, the retired CEO of Lockheed Martin, and Richard Garwin, who was on the White House’s Science Advisory Committee under both Democratic and Republican administrations. Minnesota Republican congressman Jim Ramstad is also on the list.

Recent polls show that much of America still believes in creationism. But they also show that the majority of voters don’t care whether a candidate believes in evolution or not. A June USA Today Gallup Poll found that 54 percent of Americans surveyed said that it would make no difference to them if a presidential candidate said that they don’t believe in the theory of evolution. And 70 percent of those surveyed said that a candidate’s view on evolution wasn’t relevant.

But that’s precisely the point, notes Krauss. A candidate’s position should matter because it undergirds so much of the science-driving policy; bad science leads to bad decisions. He equates not believing in evolution to not believing in the laws of gravity.

“What we need to do is raise the public discourse so that (not believing in evolution) is not an acceptable statement,” he says.

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