Science and the 2012 Election – Shawn Otto and Matthew Chapman

October 15, 2012

In this show, we talk to two founders of ScienceDebate, a nonprofit organization that in the last two election cycles has pushed to get the presidential candidates to talk about and debate science policy.

So far, there has been no actual presidential science debate. But this year, ScienceDebate got Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to answer 14 top science policy questions, leading to some revealing results. And with the election less than a month away—an election whose winner will guide science policy at a time when international research competitiveness, climate change, and other science based issues demand attention… it’s hard to think of many things more important for voters to pay attention to.

The media feel otherwise, unfortunately. The first presidential debate and the vice-presidential debate have ignored science almost entirely. But that’s precisely why we’re here, and why ScienceDebate is here—to try to shine some light on the issues that matter critically, but aren’t getting their due.

Matthew Chapman is a screenwriter, author, and great-great grandson of Charles Darwin. When not working on ScienceDebate, he recently wrote and directed The Ledge, a thriller whose central character is an atheist.

Shawn Otto is also a screenwriter and author, most recently of the book Fool me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America. Among other accolades, he also wrote and co-produced the Oscar nominated film A House of Sand and Fog.

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