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Science Debate 2008 – Obama

August 31, 2008

Last year, I had an article about a a drive to get the candidates to debate science topics as introduced by actual scientists. Well, the debate has yet to happen, but Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, has answered 14 questions relating to science for the group.

Now, as you can imagine, the answers are intelligent, nuanced, and long, so I will not be reprinting the whole thing here. However, here are some excepts from Obama’s answers:

On Innovation: As president, I will launch a Service Scholarship program that pays undergraduate or graduate teaching education costs for those who commit to teaching in a high-need school, and I will prioritize math and science teachers.  Additionally, my proposal to create Teacher Residency Academies will also add 30,000 new teachers to high-need schools – training thousands of science and math teachers.

On climate change:  Specifically, I will implement a market-based cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon emissions by the amount scientists say is necessary: 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. I will start reducing emissions immediately by establishing strong annual reduction targets with an intermediate goal of reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

On Stem cells: As president, I will lift the current administration’s ban on federal funding of research on embryonic stem cell lines created after August 9, 2001 through executive order, and I will ensure that all research on stem cells is conducted ethically and with rigorous oversight.

On Space: Between 1958 and 1973, the National Aeronautics and Space Council oversaw the entire space arena for four presidents; the Council was briefly revived from 1989 to 1992. I will re-establish this Council reporting to the president. It will oversee and coordinate civilian, military, commercial, and national security space activities. It will solicit public participation, engage the international community, and work toward a 21st century vision of space that constantly pushes the envelope on new technologies as it pursues a balanced national portfolio that expands our reach into the heavens and improves life here on Earth.

This is only a small part of the detailed and lucid responses given to these important topics. Please follow the above link and take the time to read and digest the whole thing.

Sen. John McCain has agreed to answer these questions as well, and I’ll post ’em when I see ’em.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 31, 2008 5:45 pm

    There’s also an earlier interview around (I cited it about three months ago) in which Obama says no creationism in classrooms; don’t mix science with religion.

  2. September 2, 2008 8:29 am

    Thanks for this post. I can hardly wait until John McCain submits his answers. It should be some interesting science . . . . fiction. 🙂

  3. September 3, 2008 11:51 pm

    This alone is reason enough to vote for Obama…

    His ideas are clear, inspired, and effective. He understands science. He will need however, to be given a Congress, especially the Senate, free from Republicans…

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