Science Debate 2008 on Science Friday

This is a quick note to let you know that today’s Science Friday will feature the Science Debate 2008 (which has been nicely gathering momentum since I blogged about it):

Friday, January 11th, 2008
Hour One- 2pm EDT
The Call for A Science Debate

“Should the presidential candidates participate in a debate focusing on science, technology, and the environment? A group of voters has started a petition movement calling for a science debate.”

There’s a bit more information on their site, along with a quiz about the current candidates’ positions on some science-related issues. Look here.

If you don’t catch it the first time around, don’t forget that you can go to NPR’s website and hear it again.

[Update: Here’s the link to the audio. It was a good discussion.]

Enjoy!

-cvj

Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Science Debate 2008 on Science Friday

  1. Bob says:

    Clifford,

    I have been busy and it is nice to be in touch with you again.

    As to a science debate by the candidates? Well, I think we can expect to be hearing opinions that reflect some advisors’ rather than each candidate’s knowledge in science. The trouble is that many other issues will get lost in the process. The Bush administration has focused on sending humans to Mars while taking money from other projects that NASA was prevoiusly focusing on to do it. Weather satellites, astrobiology, the study of the planets and the sun can be done more cheaply with robots than humans and those rovers on Mars seem to be doing fine. There is a good chance that a topic such as this or another that someone will likely bring up will be overlooked in the debates. Science is a very broad field and it is difficult to place a broad focus on all areas of science in one short debate. Science is not a carry-out concept. Informal debates and informal interviews focusing on just a few things at a time throughout each week is better. Scientific issues can be raised more often in the overall course of the campaign so that we in science, both amateur and professional, can get a better assessment of each candidate’s views.

  2. Clifford says:

    Hi Bob,

    “Well, I think we can expect to be hearing opinions that reflect some advisors’ rather than each candidate’s knowledge in science.”

    True, but I’d say that’s true for pretty much any issue we care to name, scientific or not. What matters is how much they listen to those advisors, how much they take on board the advice, and how they shape that advice to fit their own internal compass. That’s what would become clearer in a debate.

    “Science is a very broad field and it is difficult to place a broad focus on all areas of science in one short debate.”

    Well, true. But it should not be all or nothing, I’d say. Better to have *some* than none at all, which is what we’re getting right now.

    “Scientific issues can be raised more often in the overall course of the campaign…”

    Yes, but they are not really being raised. So this is one way to begin the process. Even if the debate does not come off, perhaps it will at least get the candidates thinking a bit more about their message in that area, and maybe get some journalists, pundits, and members of the public to ask some questions on these issues.

    Best,

    -cvj