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McCain’s Answers to Science Debate 2008’s 14 Questions September 15, 2008

Posted by Center for Inquiry Office of Public Policy in Annoucements, Press Release.
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The other candidate for president, Senator John McCain, has now answered Science Debate 2008’s 14 question about science, technology, and health (see Science Debate 2008 below). We’ll summarize his answers here, as we promised.
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=42), we’ll point to major themes that emerge from McCain’s answers.
Senator McCain twice invokes his career as a Navy officer in the course of 14 answers. In one case, he points out the dependence of military personnel on science and technology, and in the other he cites his Navy career in calling for better scientific understanding of the oceans, especially their role in climate change. He strongly supports nuclear power as an answer to our dependence on fossil fuels: he promises to put the country on track to build 45 new reactors by 2030.
He is also committed to exploring other ways to produce the increasing amount of energy the country will need, such as investing $2 billion a year for the next 15 years on clean coal technologies, and a $5,000 tax credit annually for any American who buys a zero-emission car. He will establish a $300 million prize–$1 for each American–for the development of a battery package that will essentially replace the gasoline engine.
McCain believes that education in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (STEM) is the key to maintaining our ability to compete in the global economy. He will not only promote student achievement in STEM, but will also provide incentive bonuses to teachers. A competitive grant program, funded with $250 millions, will expand online education in STEM.
McCain cites his experience as chair of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee when he endorses the commercial space industry. He sees space exploration as a national priority and wants to maximize the research and commercial possibilities of the space station’s laboratory.
While supporting federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, he will refuse “to sacrifice moral values and ethical principles for the sake of scientific progress.” He believes that the major concern with the American health care system is that it costs too much, and that the appropriate use of technology will reduce costs.
In general, McCain supports science education, scientific research and the development of technology to implement a “global competitive agenda,” involving business and industry as partners with the U.S. government.