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Science Groups: Questions for the Presidential Candidates

AAAS is among more than a dozen leading U.S. science and engineering organizations that helped formulate a list of 14 important science policy questions that they say President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney should be debating on the campaign trail.

The effort is being organized by, a nonprofit science advocacy organization, which released the questions 19 July on topics such as innovation and the economy, climate change, energy, improving science education, protecting food and fresh water, preventing pandemics, improving ocean health, and ensuring that policy decisions are based on the best available scientific and technical information.

The participating organizations: AAAS, the American Chemical Society, the American Geosciences Institute, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, The American Institute of Physics, the American Physical Society, the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the American Society of Chemical Engineering, the Council on Competitiveness, the U.S. Institute of Electricians and Electronic Engineers, the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Scientific American is the media partner for and will seek responses to the questions from the candidates. The magazine will grade their responses in its November issue, according to Christine Gorman, the editor in charge of health and medicine features for the magazine.

The AAAS Office of Government Relations also has developed a Web site that describes and tracks the candidates’ positions on science, technology, and innovation issues. The site, which was announced in February, is a one-stop, continuously updated resource useful not only to scientists and engineers, but to businesses, journalists, educators, students, and others interested in the future of the nation’s research enterprise.

It details the candidates’ positions and statements, with a particular focus on five areas: competitiveness and innovation; science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education and the workforce; climate and energy; health and medical research; and national security. The site also offers a range of other information, from reports, polls, and selected news articles to election calendars and event listings. The site—Science and Technology in the 2012 Presidential Election—is modeled after a site organized by AAAS for the 2008 campaign.


Visit the site, which lists science and environmental questions for the presidential candidates.

Visit the AAAS Web site, Science and Technology in the 2012 Presidential Election.

Visit the site archived from the 2008 U.S. presidential election.