Universities Pressure Presidential Candidates for Science Debate

Drexel University, Carnegie Mellon University, Temple University, Lehigh University, Lafayette College, and a number of other institutions of higher education, as well as museums and private companies, have called on the presidential candidates to participate in a science-focused debate on technology, climate change, health policy, and education.

"What we need is a debate focusing on how we're going to move this nation ahead in terms of the global economy and high quality jobs, tackling clean energy and climate change, reinvigorating science and math education, and solving our healthcare system," said debate organizer Shawn Lawrence Otto, CEO of Science Debate 2008. The grass roots debate has been scheduled for April 18 at The Franklin Institute Science Museum in Philadelphia.

Among business leaders calling for the forward-thinking debate is Intel Chairman Craig Barrett. "This is not a niche debate," said Barrett. "The future economic success of the United States depends on out-performing the competition with smart people and smart ideas. Without the best education system and aggressive investments in basic research and development, we will become a second-rate economic power. With its outstanding universities and transforming economy, Pennsylvania is a perfect place for this discussion, and we hope the candidates for president take this very seriously."

At the time of this writing, no candidates had announced their participation.

Organized by a couple of out of work screenwriters, ScienceDebate2008.com signers represent 140 American universities.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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