More on Presidential candidates and science

Contributed by
Feb 13, 2008

A few weeks ago I wrote about what what the Presidential candidates think about science. At the time, I said there wasn't much on Obama, for example.

That's no longer true. Popular Mechanics has posted a guide to some sci-tech issues and what the candidates think about them. The interesting issues (since you're sitting here reading a science blog) are science/education and space. There are links there for Clinton and Obama, though interestingly not for McCain or Huckabee (who, as I write this, is still campaigning). Their list is not terribly up-to-date, as they still list Romney, who dropped out a while back now.

I didn't see anything gasp-worthy in the statements made by either Clinton or Obama. Both will support science education, both want climate change studied, both want make sure NASA continues its bold exploration blah blah blah. Don't get me wrong: they both look pretty good in these categories, it's just that the statements are pretty much boilerplate (that is, standard rhetoric). I'd like to see some specifics other than "complete the space station". How about, put a human on the Moon by 2020? Send a robotic mission to probe the ice in Europa? Make sure we have enough tracking and data relay satellites to support long-range and long-term high-data rate missions?

I know, science and space aren't key issues with most voters. But I suspect they are to readers of this blog, so there you go. More grist for the mill. I'll be voting on issues like the economy, the war, immunity for telecoms, torture, foreign policy, and the like. But my eye will also be on science issues, because in my opinion (and let's face it, it's more than that-- it's a fact) they are also critically important to our future.

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