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The great debate of Oh – Eight!

Good old fashioned gumption and innovation is what science is all about! Even when it comes to politics. Since late…

By Trevor D'Arcy , in Blogs The Blogoratory: Science News Commentary , on February 12, 2008

Good old fashioned gumption and innovation is what science is all about! Even when it comes to politics. Since late last year, American scientists have been campaigning for a presidential debate revolving around science. Today, the invitations for Science Debate 2008 were sent to the four remaining presidential hopefuls, but will they accept?

The invitation explained the relevance of the debate, “Science and technology are responsible for half our nation’s growth in GDP over the last half century, and have changed every aspect of our lives, our economy, our health, and our environment.”

Kind of makes you wonder why a science debate has yet to become prominent during campaigns – or why organizers are anxious that invitations will be denied.

NY Times reporter Andrew Revkin points out that a lot depends on how many constituents such a debate could sway. It presents a dangerous opportunity that could easily humiliate a candidate; campaign strategists have to determine if its worth the risk.

Meanwhile, top US voter concerns include the economy, health and energy security, all of which are intimately tied with science and technology.

Clearly voters need to get their rear ends and their heads wired together if candidates can pass up this debate.

At the very least, people should demand such a debate for its entertainment value. Think of the ratings! Viewers won’t be able to resist watching their presidential hopefuls duke it out over such sticky and contentious issues.