A new video produced by ScienceDebate.org highlights the fact that the people who will suffer most and longest from the next president's mistakes can't vote. They are the 75 million kids under 18 who will live for the rest of this century in a world largely determined by decisions made now. And most of these decisions have to do with science. Nothing will change the future as much -- and the the public knows it.
A recent poll showed that 86% of likely voters want a science debate, with little difference between Republicans and Democrats. Candidates, reporters, and moderators, however, virtually ignore science. In the Republican and Democratic debates held only days after the Paris Climate Accord (where hundreds of politicians did listen to science and did act long term), not a single question was asked about the event, the issues, or the outcome and, as far as I can remember, no candidate volunteered an opinion.
The kids in the video argue that as science affects everyone everywhere, it's time for the presidential candidates to go beyond just economic and foreign policy debates and attend one organized by ScienceDebate.org dedicated solely to the major science, health, tech, and environmental issues.
Here are the kinds of questions kids and their parents want answered.
If you're the next president, what will you do to improve science education? What will your energy policies look like? What research and treatment initiatives will you support to fight mental illness? What other kinds of scientific research will you support? What do you think about GMO crops? What will you do to ensure that science and technology continue to drive the American economy and provide jobs? Should parents be required to vaccinate their kids? What will you do to help protect the world's oceans? What can be done about antibiotic resistant infections? What will you do to ensure that the kids of today have fresh air and clean water tomorrow?
As a mother or father, how can you vote in good conscience without knowing the answers to these and other science questions? How can you possibly vote for a candidate without knowing his or her plans for your child's future?
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