Source: Scientific American | Sheril Kirshenbaum | January 17, 2018 |

The organization Science Debate is gearing up for the November midterms by pushing those seeking office to tell the public about their views on STEM issues

Our mission at Science Debate is simple: We ask that all candidates share their science policy perspectives before Election Day so that politicians arrive in office prepared to meet the 21st centuries greatest challenges on day one. We believe that democracy works best when the people are well informed about candidates’ positions.

Science Debate has worked with every major presidential candidate since 2008, but this year, we have expanded to include all 2018 House, Senate and Gubernatorial candidates. We are publically asking them to respond to 10 questions about science policy. And the first answers are in! Here are a few excerpts:

“Politicians have no business trying to control scientific inquiry simply because the outcome might disagree with their beliefs. Scientists should be free to pursue and report their findings without fear of reprisal by politicians.”—Jeffrey Payne, Gubernatorial candidate (D), TX

“In the interest of full disclosure, I am now, and ever shall be, a space geek.”—Jim Henry, Congressional candidate (D), in FL-11

“Building an economy of innovation must include support for science and technology. Developments in healthcare, biotechnology, robotics, cyber security, energy research, artificial intelligence, information technology and advances in manufacturing, all add jobs and strengthen our economy.”—Elizabeth Moro, Congressional candidate (D),  in PA-7

“Every facet of quality of human life has been improved through scientific inquiry and technological advances. To devalue the concept of objective reality and to demean or obstruct scientific inquiry..is a certain path to slamming the brakes on human progress.”—Joseph Kopser, Congressional candidate (D), in TX-21

Read the full responses from all candidates so far by clicking through our interactive map.

Topics range from mental health and the opioid crisis to space and energy. While science has been politicized, it should not be partisan because science serves and impacts all of us, regardless of political affiliation.

If you care about the future of leadership, innovation and health in the United States, I encourage you to contact your candidates and encourage them to respond to the 2018 Q&A! While our team works hard to drum up as much interest and support as possible, what matters most to candidates is what their potential constituents request. You can find your candidates at Ballotopedia and more information about the 2016 push on our website.