Presidential candidates speak out on science

GOP presidential candidate John McCain has joined Democrat Barack Obama in providing answers to 14 questions on science and technology, MSNBC reports. And on two of the campaign’s biggest science issues–climate change and stem cell research–the rivals aren’t all that far apart, at least when you look at the big picture. The questions were posed by Science Debate 2008, which has been working to raise the visibility of science issues in the campaign for nine months.  "Most of America’s major unsolved challenges revolve around these 14 questions," Science Debate 2008’s chief executive officer, Minnesota screenwriter Shawn Otto, said in a statement laying out McCain’s answers. "To move America forward, the next president needs a substantive plan for tackling them going in, and voters deserve to know what that plan is." Both candidates declare that technological innovation will be key for America’s future, but each puts his party’s particular political spin on proposals for promoting that innovation. Obama stresses the need for increased funding for basic research and education, while McCain says he would provide "broad pools of capital, low taxes and incentives for research in America…"

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