3 Reasons Why Science is Important in This Election
More than ever science research and technology affects our lives. And in particular with this year’s election it is very crucial that we elect a president that values evidence and reason over fear and superstition.
What is at stake is the very existence of us as a species on this planet as well as our ability to greatly reduce the amount of suffering that many around the world endure.
Many issues that have been debated all across the country the past few years require some amount of basic scientific knowledge to really understand. Do the candidates have that knowledge? Are they willing to learn?
The following are the 3 main reasons why science is so crucial in this election:
Climate Change and Energy: Global warming due to the use of fossil fuels is changing the earth’s climate. Even a small overall increase in global temperatures will result in the flooding of coastal areas where a large percent of the population lives. We need to reduce or eliminate our reliance on fossil fuels and replace them with truly clean energy sources like solar, wind and geothermal. Are the presidential candidates ready for this challenge? Or will they dig us further into the current mess we are in now?
Health and Medicine: We will have the ability to greatly reduce or eliminate much of the suffering millions of people endure due to cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and many other diseases if we keep moving ahead with health and medical research. But yet much of that research is being delayed or inhibited altogether because some small percent of the population believes that a blastocyst consisting of 150 cells – with no brain or even neurons – is more valuable than a person suffering or dying from a painful and/or debilitating disease. Will the next president prolong that suffering or take the necessary steps to relieve it?
Education and Innovation: The U.S. is not doing a good job with making sure all its citizens receive an adequate education in general, but we are especially failing in science and math “A comparison of 15-year-olds in 30 wealthy nations found that average science scores among U.S. students ranked 17th, while average U.S. math scores ranked 24th”. Why does this matter? Much of the growth in the U.S. since WWII is due to our innovation in science and technology. We will be able to sustain that growth if our educational system is not preparing students for careers requiring science and math skills?
Back in November 2007 a small group of people created the organization Science Debate 2008 to get the presidential candidates to discuss all the above and many other science issues. Both candidates have now agreed to answer 14 questions about science and this country’s future!
Update: Obama has answered the 14 questions!
How can you help make sure the candidates understand how important these issues are?
1 – you can Digg this question.
2 – Keep checking the Science Debate 2008 site for the answers the candidates give.
3 – If you have a blog, you can join the Blogger Coalition.
Remember – our futures and the futures of our children are at stake!
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