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AAAS Urges Presidential Candidates to Address Key Science-Related Issues
Alan I. Leshner
Issues ranging from economic development and national security to health care and climate change have critical links to science and technology, and those issues deserve a more prominence in the presidential campaign, AAAS CEO Alan I. Leshner writes in a new Philadelphia Inquirer commentary.
"Even though science-related issues are crucial to so many aspects of modern American life, they are grabbing virtually none of the national limelight," wrote Leshner, who also serves as executive publisher of the journal Science.
"We are far from the days of a president like Thomas Jefferson, a scientist-statesman without peer in U.S. history, distinguished as an agronomist, astronomer, botanist, meteorologist, paleontologist and inventor. A leader more like Jefferson surely would see we are in the midst of a scientific and technological revolution, facing both daunting challenges and incredible opportunities."
The op-ed, published 17 March, offers a list of questions to the candidates that could serve as the basis for an important dialogue on how science and technology could help address the central challenges of our times.
With just a little more than a month remaining before the crucial Pennsylvania primary election on 22 April, the Democratic and Republican candidates have been invited to a debate focused on science and technology that would be held four days earlier in Philadelphia. The idea for a presidential science debate has been organized by Science Debate 2008, which represents hundreds of business, academic, and S&T leaders, and is backed by top AAAS officials.
Edward W. Lempinen
17 March 2008