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Science in the political party platforms

Both the Republican and Democratic parties released their party platforms at this year's 2012 conventions in Tampa and Charlotte. Here is a snapshot of what they both had to say about science.

The 2012 Republican Platform was released at Republican National Convention in Tampa, and science issues appear throughout the document. The platform gives less space to climate change than the 2008 platform; it emphasizes opposition to cap-and-trade legislation, boosting domestic gas, oil and coal development, and "[taking] quick action to prohibit the EPA from moving forward with new greenhouse gas regulations." It also encourages "the cost-effective development of renewable energy, but the taxpayers should not serve as venture capitalists for risky endeavors.\" The platform supports federal investment in biomedical research, with special mention of neuroscience, and opposes federally-funded embryonic stem cell research. It supports encouraging foreign students earning advanced degrees in science and engineering to remain in the U.S. More details can be found on ScienceInsider and Inside Higher Ed.

The 2012 Democratic Platform was released a the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Given that the party's candidate is an incumbent, the discussion of science focuses on what President Obama has accomplished with respect to science and technology.

For climate change, it states that the party's goal is "an effective, international effort in which all major economies commit to reduce their emissions." In the area of energy, it touts the Administration's new fuel efficiency standards for cars, investments in clean energy technologies, and continues to support a goal of generating 80 percent of U.S. electricity from clean energy sources by 2035.  Given the push to reduce the deficit, it is not surprising that the platform only notes that the President has proposed doubling the funding for key S&T agencies and gives no indication of plans for the future, except to state that Democrats support a "world-class commitment to science and research."  In other areas, the platform notes that the Obama administration supports federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, and in the area of education, it reiterates the goal of training 100,000 STEM education teachers and increasing the proportion of college graduates. More details can be found on ScienceInsider and Inside Higher Ed.

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