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As Clinton Pushes For More Primary Debates, Critical Science Debate Ignored

With presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama gathering a head of steam after the so-called Potomac Primaries, his rival Senator Hillary Clinton has been pushing for more debates between the two candidates.  Clinton has begun running an advertisement in Wisconsin hitting Obama hard for refusing to debate her.  In the commercial the narrator intones:  “Maybe he'd prefer to give speeches than have to answer questions.”

Some are saying Clinton’s request is too little too late, as both Senators have participated in numerous debates already and plan to attend two during the coming weeks.  However, in all of the hubbub, another critical debate is being ignored: Science Debate 2008.



The National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and a host of other organizations are cosponsors of the event.  They are calling for the debate because “science and technology lie at the center of a very large number of the policy issues facing our nation and the world - issues that profoundly affect our national and economic security as science and technology continue to transform our lives.”


They certainly have it right. American success has been fueled by scientists, physicians and others whose discoveries have transformed the world.  In addition, while most will not become scientists, science education is critical for all Americans. From a health perspective, without a basic understanding of science, we won’t be qualified to make the medical decisions policymakers, employers and others are asking of us.  

Despite the importance of science, the candidates  have not yet accepted the debate.  This may be because they may think a science debate would be viewed as “boring.” Or it may not afford them the opportunity to launch zingers or witty soundbites at each other that will gain them an edge with voters.  Despite this, they should consider attending.  It would provide Americans with the opportunity to better understand how the they plan to meet the scientific challenges of tomorrow, including global warming and pandemic illnesses.

If you like the idea of a science debate, learn more by clicking here.  You can also sign a petition urging the all candidates to attend the debate. More than 15,000 people have already signed it.  I’m one of them.  

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1 Comments/Trackbacks

Sen. Obama promises a medical insurance program which would not be compulsory, but which would provide care to those who cannot afford it. And to be perfectly honest, Hillary is desperate to win. Whether the ad's intentions are honest and pure, that is up for each individual to decide. I do, however, think that Hillary (and her campaign team) would have been wise to include a more "diverse" group of Americans in the ad. Moreover, I would love to see a woman as president in my lifetime. And I have come to have a very real respect for her intellect. I think every person who wonders whether they should vote for Hllary should check out this book:

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