With the 2008 election only 7 weeks away, the anticipation is building. It's a time when emotions run high, opinions run deep and the media creates news on a minute-by-minute basis. It's also a very exciting time, as evidenced by the multiple topics of conversation ignited during lunch, over dinner, at sporting events, and yes, even in our classrooms.
One concerned citizens initiative— cosponsored by the AAAS, the Council on Competitiveness, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and over 175 leading American universities and other organizations—is calling for a serious discussion to take place between the candidates with regards to pressing science issues. Over a dozen leading scientists were interviewed on film describing why they believe this debate needs to happen. These mini films are extremely informative. Francesca Grifo, Director of Science Integrity Program, voices many of my immediate concerns with regards to information I have been desperately seeking in our national leaders.
The Science Debate 2008 initiative also asked both presidential candidates to answer questions relating to these concerns. Their responses, along with a more detailed background to this initiative, can be found at the Science Debate 2008 site.
As science educators, it is all but certain that our students will be curious about how science fits in with the national election, particularly when it comes to the environment and future technology. With that in mind, a comprehensive site illustrating the differences between the candidates' positions can be found at the home page for Science Debate 2008.
Other sites have also collected information with regards to our presidential candidates and their science positions. McCain's campaign site has published his position. Obama's campaign site does the same. A New York Times article was also published with a focus on science and technology. And information can also be found at the Physics Today blog.
Educators. Students. Community members. Much more unites us than divides us, particularly knowing we all wear multiple hats. Building relationships. Thinking BIG.
Challenging and supporting one another. Developing engaged, empathetic citizens. Please join me in pondering how best to nurture these common ground connections.