Kids Ask: Why don't the Candidates for President Debate Science?

MUST SEE VIDEO: Kids Ask: Why don't the Candidates for President Debate Science?

 

The Republican and Democratic candidates for president both held debates in the days immediately following the Paris climate change summit, where 195 countries reached an agreement to begin shifting the world economy off carbon. Despite this momentous event, no journalist moderating either debate asked the candidates for US president a single question about climate change.

That same lack of attention is being paid to most of the major science, health, tech, and environmental issues that are impacting US and global policy challenges, but at least one group is trying to change that in advance of the upcoming Republican presidential debate on January 14.

ScienceDebate.org, a grassroots nonprofit, is pushing for a debate—or at least several debate questions—that actually tackles some of these issues, and they’ve asked the people most affected by them—children—to make the case why the candidates for president should take this idea seriously.

It may be the most memorable political TV commercial you’ll watch this entire campaign season: 

 

The commercial is like a box of chocolates, with an incredible variety of kids challenging the candidates for president to debate these important topics—all in 30 seconds.

They make a compelling, nonpartisan case—and one that is both fun and inspiring to watch, whether you’re 3 years old, or 103.

ScienceDebate’s argument is simple—that it’s time for a presidential debate dedicated to the major science, health, tech, and environmental issues. They argue that these issues are now influencing all of life, and that it is time to broaden national discussions past seeing everything only in terms of economics and foreign policy, since science has become the dominant human quality. These issues are getting short shrift, they argue, but are really the ones controlling our fate, and so we should be focusing more attention on them in our political dialogue.

It’s a hard case to refute, and the public seems interested. ScienceDebate.org and Research!America, a group that advocates for medical research, commissioned a national poll that showed that 87% of likely voters think the candidates ought to be well-versed on these issues. The group held online exchanges between President Obama and his opponents in 2008 and 2012, each time making nearly a billion media impressions. “This cycle, we’d like to see one on national television,” said the group’s chair, science writer Shawn Otto.  

The public can submit questions the think the candidates ought to answer at http://questions.sciencedebate.org. The questions already submitted illustrate the group’s point that there is a broad range of important topics that are not currently being much discussed. Americans deserve answers to these questions, and thinking about them now will make the candidates better qualified for the job they seek in November.

 

ScienceDebate.org is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

 

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