A Call for a Science Debate

Following on an article in Seed and an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, ScienceBloggers Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum (of The Intersection) have teamed up with a bunch of other smart people to launch Sciencedebate 2008:

Given the many urgent scientific and technological challenges facing America and the rest of the world, the increasing need for accurate scientific information in political decision making, and the vital role scientific innovation plays in spurring economic growth and competitiveness, we call for a public debate in which the U.S. presidential candidates share their views on the issues of The Environment, Health and Medicine, and Science and Technology Policy.

I’m on record as wanting fewer debates, at least in the primary season, but I’ll endorse this idea. It’s not that I expect it to provide me any useful information (I’m voting party-line Democratic this year, and every year until the Republican party stops being led by crooks and lunatics), or change many minds in the general electorate, but I’m in favor of anything that might lead toward a greater public respect for science and scientific issues.

And besides, wouldn’t it be fun to see a debate in which the Republican candidate had to ritually deny modern biology on national television?