Top Congressional Scientists cross party lines to call for a Presidential debate on science & technology
Congressmen Vern Ehlers, R-MI and Rush Holt, D-NJ to co-chair committee
NEW YORK (December 26, 2007) - A Republican and a Democratic member of the United States
Congress, who are each also scientists, are leading an effort to push
for a presidential debate on science and technology policy.
Congressman Vern Ehlers, R-MI, and congressman Rush Holt, D-NJ, have agreed to co-chair the non-partisan initiative, called ScienceDebate2008.com, whose signers also include fourteen Nobel laureates, several university presidents, other congresspersons of both parties, the president of the Academy of Evangelical Scientists and Ethicists, and the heads of several of America’s major science organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
“Advancing 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,” the two said in a joint statement. “No matter one's political stripe, these issues pose some of the most important pragmatic policy challenges the next president will face.”
“We believe a debate on these issues would be the ideal opportunity for America and the candidates to explore our national priorities for the twenty-first century, and we hope candidates will wish to be involved in such a discussion,” they said.
“When you think about it, nearly every major challenge the next President will face has a science or technological component,” said Lawrence M. Krauss, an astrophysicist at Case Western Reserve University and a member of the ScienceDebate2008 steering committee. “We owe it to the next generation to address these challenges responsibly.”
The group’s impressive signatory list is at http://www.sciencedebate2008.com.
The debate location and venue have not yet been chosen. The group is in talks with several major organizations.
John Rennie, Editor-in-Chief of Scientific American, is also a member of the steering committee. “Matters of science and technology underpin every important issue affecting the future of the United States,” said Rennie. “It’s crucial for the nation’s welfare that our next president be someone with an understanding of vital science, a willingness to listen to scientific counsel, and a capacity for solid, critical thinking. A debate would be the ideal opportunity for America and the candidates to explore our national priorities on these issues.”