Last year a group of six scientists and journalists began compiling a list of the most important science-related questions the presidential candidates should answer. The result was ScienceDebate2008, a project that eventually expanded to include input from 38,000 scientists and citizens, who sent in 3,400 questions. Working with various scientific organizations, the six founders narrowed the submissions down to 14 questions about health, research, the environment and science.
Both Senator McCain and Senator Obama answered the questions, and their answers can be read here. However, it’s easy for a politician to make promises, so Popular Science investigated both senator’s voting records to see if their history matched up with their promises for the future. Each day for the next two weeks we'll present an analysis of the candidate’s voting records as compared with their answers to the ScienceDebate2008 questions.
Are the candidates all sizzle and no steak? Or do they have the record to back up their claims? Let’s take a look.
The first ScienceDebate2008 question asks, “What policies will you support to ensure that America remains the world leader in innovation?” Not surprisingly, the candidates took the not-so-bold stance of being for innovation.
In Obama’s case, that means funding science and math education, making the research and development tax credit permanent and increasing National Science Foundation graduate fellowships. McCain answered that he would appoint a Science and Technology Advisor to the White House and send Americans back to the Moon and onwards towards Mars.single page