Saturday, August 30, 2008

Barack Obama answers 14 top science questions

Answers show plans to tackle some of the toughest challenges facing America

Washington (August 30, 2008) – Barack Obama today answered the 14 top science questions facing America, according to, the group leading the effort to make key science issues a larger part of the election.

“Most of America’s major unsolved challenges revolve around these 14 questions. 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,” said Shawn Otto, CEO of the initiative. “We’re pleased that Senator Obama has provided voters with that substantive plan, and we’re hoping for similarly thoughtful responses from Senator McCain.”

Senator Obama’s full responses can be found here.

The top 14 questions address energy policy, national security, economics in a science-driven global economy, climate change, education, health care, ocean health, biosecurity, clean water, space, stem cells, scientific integrity, genetics, and research.

The 14 questions were developed from over 3,400 questions submitted by more than 38,000 signers of the ScienceDebate2008 initiative. The questionnaire is a joint effort led by ScienceDebate2008, with Scientists and Engineers for America, AAAS, the National Academies, the Council on Competitiveness, and several other organizations, together representing over 125 million voters.

“Ensuring that the U.S. continues to lead the world in science and technology will be a central priority for my administration,” said Senator Obama. “Our talent for innovation is still the envy of the world, but we face unprecedented challenges that demand new approaches.”

Recent national polls have shown that 85% of voters would like the see the candidates debate these challenges, and the majority of voters are much more likely to vote for a candidate that has a plan for tackling these issues.

“We are grateful for Senator Obama's detailed responses and look forward to receiving the same from Senator McCain,” said Matthew Chapman, president of the initiative. “After that we hope the candidates will want to discuss their differences. Science Debate 2008 and its partners once again extend an invitation to both candidates to attend a televised debate or forum where these vital issues can be discussed in front of a broader audience.” is a citizens initiative started by six individuals whose signers now include nearly every major American science organization, the presidents of nearly every major American university, and dozens of Nobel laureates and top American CEOs. For more information, to see a list of the signers, or to see the results of the national polls, please visit

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