Questioning the Presidential Candidates on Science

Science advocacy organizations have drafted a list of 20 questions for Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, and Donald Trump; will post responses as they roll in.

Aug 10, 2016
Bob Grant

WIKIMEDIA, BILLY HATHORNWith the carnival-like atmosphere surrounding the 2016 US presidential campaign, there hasn’t been much talk of science, technology, engineering, or environment. But a consortium of 56 higher education and scientific organizations is aiming to change that. ScienceDebate—which set up shop in 2008 to inject some science into that presidential race and the subsequent 2012 campaign—has released its list of 20 questions for this year’s contenders to answer. “We are encouraging journalists to ask these questions at every opportunity,” Shawn Otto, ScienceDebate’s organizer, told Science. “We’re in a new era where science is impacting people more than ever, and candidates will respond to what is on the minds of the public.”

The questions include asking about policies that will keep America at the forefront of innovation, about the candidates’ views on climate change, about protecting biodiversity, food, nuclear power, space, and scientific integrity. Though ScienceDebate doesn’t seem to be pushing as hard this time around for a debate on science, the coalition trimmed a list of around 400 questions to arrive at the final 20. The initial questions were submitted by members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Academy of Natural Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, and many others.

ScienceDebate said it will post answers from the candidates—Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, and Donald Trump—as they roll in.