Yusuf Dayur, 12, thinks that Ben Carson has it all wrong on Muslims, so he recorded a video that went viral taking on the presidential candidate on his statements that Muslims should not be allowed to become president.
Susanlyn Singroy, 13, thinks the candidates for president should be debating science. The eighth-grader argues that the candidates are talking a lot about money, religion and immigration, but rarely mentioning the science impacting her future. "If they talk about the big science issues," Singroy says, "maybe they'll actually do something about them."
Increasingly, kids are speaking up in a world where sometimes the adults that are supposed to be in charge seem off course. Dayur, Singroy, and an amazing variety of other children have recorded a public service announcement in advance of the upcoming GOP presidential debate, asking the candidates for president to debate science.
It may just be the most memorable political ad you'll see all year:
They have a point. The Republican and Democratic candidates for president both held debates just days after the Paris climate summit, in which 195 countries reached an historic accord to begin limiting greenhouse gases and moving to a low-carbon economy, but debate moderators didn't ask them a single question about climate science. US journalists have similarly avoided asking the candidates about other major science, health, tech, and environmental issues.
Candidates for president attend debates dedicated to economics and foreign policy already, so maybe the kids have a point. Science issues like climate change, medical research, robosourcing of jobs, science education, vaccinations, the war on drugs, guns and mental health, energy and others have an equal or greater impact on kids and their families. Attending a debate dedicated to these topics will help candidates better prepare for the job they seek in November--and help voters assess an important aspect of a candidate's policies they might not otherwise hear about until it's too late. ScienceDebate.org, the group that produced the ad, is running an online petition asking the candidates to debate science. If you agree, sign the petition.
The public does seem to generally agree. ScienceDebate.org and Research!America, a nonprofit that advocates for medical research, recently commissioned a national poll and found that 87 percent of likely voters think the candidates for president ought to be well-versed on science issues. 91 percent of Democrats, 88 percent of Republicans and 78 percent of Independents also said the presidential candidates should participate in a debate to discuss key science-based challenges facing the US.
What would such a debate look like? The possibilities for questions are fascinating, and could fill hours of discussion. Check out some of the questions already submitted at the group's website, and submit one of your own.