Groups urge presidential candidates to address science

By Emily Ronis

©Shawn Harquail

Joining 55 organizations and associations, TWS has signed a letter calling on the presidential candidates to address a set of 20 questions, each of which focuses on a major issue related to science, engineering, health, and the environment.

ScienceDebate.org, the organization leading the effort, has been asking presidential candidates crowdsourced, science-based questions since 2008.

“By engaging the candidates in a debate focusing on topics in science, engineering, technology, and innovation, it would be an opportunity for all voters to gauge how the candidates would use sound technical information in their future decision making,” says Marcia McNutt, President of the National Academy of Sciences, in a news release about the effort.

TWS has long supported and encouraged the use of science in policy and decision-making processes, and this effort calls on the candidates to acknowledge the need to use science in federal policy. Question #14 directly asks the candidates how science would play a role in his/her administration’s regulatory decisions, furthering the discussion on integrating science and policy.

This year’s questions also cover issues ranging from space exploration to sustainable agriculture. Question #4 addresses biodiversity, asking the candidate what steps (s)he will take to protect the nation’s variety of plant and animal life. Questions on climate change and ocean health are also included. Responses from the candidates are requested by September 6.

See the presidential candidates’ responses from the 2012 and 2008 presidential candidates.

Read TWS’ Position Statements on Conserving Biological Diversity, Global Climate Change and Wildlife, and Use of Science in Policy and Management Decisions.

Emily Ronis is a Policy Communication Intern at The Wildlife Society. Read more of Emily's articles.