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Do you care whether our government's policies are based on sound science? Worried about health or your kids' science education? Want to know what's up with climate change and energy? Or what we're doing to build the next great American economy? See the Top American Science Questions and sign the call!

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Uncle Sam Wants YOU for U.S. Science

Are we losing what made America great?
A Debate on Science and America’s Future

"Given the many urgent scientific and technological challenges facing America and the rest of the world, the increasing need for accurate scientific information in political decision making, and the vital role scientific innovation plays in spurring economic growth and competitiveness, we call for public debates in which the U.S. presidential and congressional candidates share their views on the issues of The Environment, Health and Medicine, and Science and Technology Policy."

AAAS 2012 Elections Site

Who we are

Science Debate is a 501(c)(3) organization cofounded and run by vonlunteer citizens from a variety of walks of life who share the common vision of Thomas Jefferson that "Whenever the people are well-informed, the can be trusted with their own government."  In an age when science influences every aspect of life and lies at the heart of many of our thorniest policy challenges, we believe that candidates for office should be debating and discussing these issues, just like they debate and discuss economics, foreign policy, and even faith.  Science Debate is dedicated to elevating science and engineering questions in our national civic dialogue.  

Steering committee

*the six co-founders  †the currently active core volunteers

Norm Augustine, former CEO of Lockheed Martin; former Undersecretary of the Army

Arne Carlson,  former Republican Governor of Minnesota; former chairman of American Express Funds board

†Darlene Cavalier, Founder,

†*Matthew Chapman, writer/director, science writer; President of Science Debate, Inc.

*Austin Dacey, contributing editor, The Skeptical Inquirer magazine

Calvin DeWitt,  President, Academy of Evangelical Scientists and Ethicists

Vern Ehlers (co-chair),  Former Republican congressman from Michigan

Ira Flatow, Producer and Host of Science Friday on NPR's Talk of the Nation

†Kathy Goodin, Deputy Director, Science Division and Director, Marine Program, NatureServe

†David Guston, Co-Director of the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes at Arizona State University

†Michael Halpern, Program Manager for Scientific Integrity, Union of Concerned Scientists

Rush Holt (co-chair), Democratic congressman from New Jersey

†Melinda Hough, Health Research Policy Adviser, Science Debate, Inc

James Jensen, Director of Congressional and Government Affairs, The National Academies

†*Sheril Kirshenbaum, marine biologist,  University of Texas; science blogger

†*Lawrence Krauss, Professor of Earth and Space Exploration and Physics, Arizona State University

Alan Leshner, CEO, American Association for the Advancement of Science; Executive Publisher, Science magazine 

James McCarthy, Chairman, AAAS; board member, Union of Concerned Scientists; Professor of Oceanography, Harvard University

Angie McQuaig, Director, Camp Inquiry, Center for Inquiry

*Chris Mooney, science writer and science blogger, The Intersection

†*Shawn Lawrence Otto, CEO of Science Debate, Inc; science writer, writer/director/producer; political consultant; entrepreneur

Deborah Wince-Smith, President, Council on Competitiveness 


Numerous other individual and organizational supporters from among our signers pitch in on various projects from time to time.  Science Debate is a collaborative conversation dedicated to improving American civic life.


Media Partner

Scientific American


Organizational cosponsors

The U.S. National Academies

The American Association for the Advancement of Science

The Council on Competitiveness


*the six co-founders  †the currently active core committee