Friday, August 12, 2016

Science Questions for Presidential Candidates

The Challenge to the Presidential Candidates and to the Press

Science, engineering, technology, health and environmental issues now affect voters’ lives at least as much as the foreign policy, economic policy, and faith and values views that candidates traditionally share with journalists on the campaign trail. America’s leading science and engineering organizations are urging the candidates and the press to give equal priority to discussion of these important issues in the national dialogue, so that well-informed voters may continue to guide the democratic process.  asks the major political party candidates to provide responses, as they did in 2008 and 2012.

The website Right Wing Watch recently spotlighted a 2002 video of then- Representative Pence delivering an impassioned speech on the House floor in favor of teaching “intelligent design” in public school science classes, and challenging the scientific consensus on evolution by natural selection, demonstrating his ignorance of what is meant by the word “theory” in a scientific context.  Advocating that school children be religiously indoctrinated rather than be taught real science will handicap generations of students.

Years later on MSNBC  Pence was asked to restate his views on science and evolution. He resorted to the “teach the controversy” cliché. Pence’s other anti-scientific views consists of climate change denial and cigarettes do not cause cancer. These views can be disastrous for education and public health. 

Separating scientific fact from superstition is crucial when it comes to national policy and the education of our children. The electorate needs to know whether Pense would subordinate science to religion and cling to views that conflict with reality. Would he use his office to promote an anti-scientific agenda.

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