Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Science Debate?

A coalition of scientists, bloggers, and politicians (including NJ Rep. Rush Holt and MD Rep. Wayne Gilchrest) is calling for a presidential science debate for the 2008 election. Candidates' approaches to several policy areas - e.g., health care, the environment, energy policy, and education - are shaped by their attitudes towards scientific research and technology. Among other subjects, the proposed debate would cover some issues that should be of interest to birders:

The Environment
  • Climate Change
  • Conservation and Species Loss
  • The Future of The Oceans
  • Fresh Water: Drought, Pollution, Ownership
  • Population Growth and Its Effect on Environment
  • Renewable Energy Research
If such a debate happens, it will be most useful if the questions are asked by people who know something about these subjects. Having a panel composed of science journalists and not TV talking heads would be a good start. That way, maybe we can avoid some of the misleading questions, kindergarten exercises, inane commentary, and undisclosed conflicts of interest that pervade corporate media coverage of the campaign.

The debate is probably a long shot, so the organizers are asking the public to get involved.