Obama, Romney tackle science debate questions

"Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government."
Thomas Jefferson

Science now affects every aspect of life and is an increasingly important topic in national policymaking. ScienceDebate.org invited thousands of scientists, engineers and concerned citizens to submit what they felt were the the most important science questions facing the nation that the candidates for president should be debating on the campaign trail.

ScienceDebate then worked with the leading US science and engineering organizations to refine the questions and arrive at a universal consensus on what the most important science policy questions facing the United States are in 2012.

Candidates readily debate jobs and the economy even though they are not economists; they debate foreign policy and military intervention even though they are not diplomats or generals; they debate faith and values even though they are not priests or pastors. We call on the candidates for President to also debate these Top American Science Questions that affect all voters' lives.

The candidates answered those questions - September 4, 2012:

President Barack Obama
Governor Mitt Romney

On NASA's future and spurring innovation

Obama: I am committed to doubling funding for key research agencies to support scientists and entrepreneurs, so that we can preserve America's place as the world leader in innovation, and strengthen U.S. leadership in the 21st century's high-tech knowledge-based economy.

 

ON NASA's future and spurring innovation

Romney: The promotion of innovation will begin on Day One, with efforts to simplify the corporate tax code, reform job retraining programs, reduce regulatory burdens, and protect American intellectual property around the world.

 

 

 

 

 

On space policy:

Obama: From investing in research on advances in spaceflight technology, to expanding our commitment to an education system that prepares our students for space and science achievements, I am committed to strengthening the base for America's next generation of spaceflight.

On space policy:

Romney: A strong and successful NASA does not require more funding, it needs clearer priorities. I will ensure that NASA has practical and sustainable missions. There will be a balance of pragmatic and top-priority science with inspirational and groundbreaking exploration programs.

 

On climate:

Obama: Climate change is the one of the biggest issues of this generation, and we have to meet this challenge by driving smart policies that lead to greater growth in clean energy generation and result in a range of economic and social benefits. Since taking office I have established historic standards limiting greenhouse gas emissions from our vehicles for the first time in history. My administration has made unprecedented investments in clean energy, proposed the first-ever carbon pollution limits for new fossil-fuel-fired power plants and reduced carbon emissions within the Federal Government.

On climate:

Romney: I am not a scientist myself, but my best assessment of the data is that the world is getting warmer, that human activity contributes to that warming, and that policymakers should therefore consider the risk of negative consequences. However, there remains a lack of scientific consensus on the issue on the extent of the warming, the extent of the human contribution, and the severity of the risk and I believe we must support continued debate and investigation within the scientific community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The full responses are worth reading for anyone interested in science and the nation's future.
Find more of the questions & answers here: http://www.sciencedebate.org/debate12/