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Obama’s answers to Science Debate 2008’s 14 questions September 12, 2008

Posted by Center for Inquiry Office of Public Policy in Annoucements, Commentary, Press Release.
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One candidate for the presidency, Democrat Senator Barack Obama, has answered Science Debate 2008’s question about science, technology, and health (see Science Debate 2008 below). We’ll summarize his answers here. When Republican Senator John McCain answers the questions, we’ll summarize them in this space too.
Without going into detail about the answers to all 14 questions (the complete answers can be found at http://www.sciencedebate2008.com/www/index.php?id=40), we’ll point to major themes that emerge from Obama’s answers.
He emphasizes the need for improved science education at all levels, kindergarten through college and into graduate school, and promises increased funding for basic research to maintain U.S. competitiveness. Research will be the foundation for innovations in energy conservation and replacement, as well as in defense technologies.
To address global climate change, Obama will implement a market-based cap-and-trade system, enforce targets for reduction in carbon emissions, and reconnect the U.S. with United Nations and international organizations to focus on energy and environmental issues worldwide.
He supports both genetic and stem cell research and the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA). He connects genetic and stem cell research to improving the quality of health care in the U.S. His health-care plan covers everybody by limiting the power of insurance companies and extending tax credits to small business.
Obama will restore scientific integrity and eliminate political interference in science by appointing a Chief Technology Officer and strengthening the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. He will issue an Executive Order establishing guidelines for the timely release of scientific findings undistorted by political considerations.
In general, Obama sees science as vital to facing the “grand challenges of the 21st century,” and proposes to fund education, research, and development in science and technology to the extent needed to find solutions.

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