Science Debate 2008 is a call for a presidential debate on science and technology. The list of signatories on the petition is indeed quite impressive, including a dozen or more Nobel laureates, professors, heads of industry, leaders in the scientific community,... the list goes on and on.
In the wake of one of the most regressive presidencies in history, I think a debate on how science should be involved in shaping public policy is important not just to scientists, but to all Americans. So while I am happy to see so many scientists sign on to support Science Debate 2008, I think it is just as, if not more important for non-scientists to speak out and say "We don't want another presidency that ignores or censors scientific data in order to support the policies of ideologues."
The Bush administration has actively suppressed, censored, and manipulated scientific findings in order to suit its agenda. This has affected public policy on issues as wide-ranging as stem cell research, global warming, reproductive health, the environment, protection of endangered species, and air quality standards. The administration has staffed its scientific advisory committee with underqualified individuals, and dismissed qualified experts who disagreed with the administration's agenda.
This country can not afford another presidency that undervalues the role that science and technology must play in shaping our country's future.
So please, get involved at Science Debate 2008. Sign the petition, tell your friends, blog about it. Tell the candidates that we need a president who will protect the valuable role that scientific discovery must play in shaping our country's policies.