Well, quick on the heels of my announcement yesterday that ScienceDebate 2008 ran into a couple of snags, I got word that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are going to do a different debate. A debate on “faith, values and other current issues” at Messiah College near Harrisburg, Pa. on the 13th of April.
My disappointment from yesterday has turned into frustration. At both candidates. They refused to debate science policy but agreed to debate faith and values?! This exemplifies one of the reasons I want a science debate to occur: science policy is not taken seriously by politicians in this country. Obviously, faith is taken seriously. I have nothing against a discussion about faith, as long as it doesn’t bump other important issues out of the way, as it appears has happened. Couldn’t they have done both? I can imagine the outcry that would happen if Obama and Clinton refused to discuss faith but discussed science. And that seems ridiculous to me.
To put it mildly, emphasizing faith while deemphasizing science is a bad situation. I get it that people of faith have interjected their issues into the realm of politics. It’s obvious that people of science haven’t done as good a job at this. It’s obviously time to do something about this. I’ll start by expressing my frustration with both Democratic campaigns.
I hope to see Democratic candidates at all levels ready and willing to enter into science policy discussions this election cycle.