Say what you will about the 2016 elections (and as a 501(c)3 nonprofit, we at NCSE can’t say much), in the end, one of the participants in the unceasing debates will presumably be our next president. And regardless of who you’d like to see win, I think we can all agree that the next president will have to be able to confront complicated scientific ideas, and it’s important to understand how the next president thinks about science.
That’s why NCSE, along with a host of leading scientific organizations, have partnered with ScienceDebate to present a series of questions to the candidates. You can submit your own questions, or search the existing questions and vote for the ones you think would be most helpful in exploring how our next president thinks about science.
I already proposed a question, which perhaps some of you might care to vote for. It asks how the candidates will help teachers prepare to teach about new topics, and prepare themselves as new science emerges, or new topics come to prominence in science classrooms.
There are other questions probing the candidates views on evolution and climate change, on pseudoscience and the nature of science. But as I understand it, the point here is not to create a televised science quiz, but to reveal how the next president thinks about scientific issues and how (or if) she or he plans to harness the power of science to move America forward. For better or worse, we won’t have the option of electing a PhD scientist to the White House, but we still deserve to know what advisors the candidates turn to for scientific guidance, how they sort through conflicting perspectives on scientific policy questions, and how they see science enhancing their political agenda and vice versa.
All of that is why NCSE signed on as a partner with ScienceDebate, and it’s why I hope you’ll weigh in on the questions under consideration.