Presidential Candidates on Science Issues

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Publication date: 
6 October 2004

While science and technology issues have not been raised in the presidential and vice-presidential debates thus far, there are a number of web sites featuring the positions of President George Bush and Senator John Kerry on science policy. These include articles in two magazines published by the American Institute of Physics, in Science, Science Express, and Nature. Last week, the American Association for the Advancement of Science held a well-attended candidates' forum at which spokesmen for President Bush and Senator Kerry presented the two candidates' views on science policy and funding questions. An audio archive is available of this forum.

Also of note is an effort by the American Physical Society and other science and technology interests to arrange a first-ever electronic (web cast) town hall meeting at which Kerry and Bush would be given an opportunity to make an opening statement and then take questions. Invitations were mailed to each candidates' campaign on August 16, 2004. The organizers have not received a firm response from either campaign. Further information and updates on these meetings can be found at


Physics Today: October 2004
"Presidential Candidates Speak Out on Science Policies"
Issues: missile defense, climate change, science investment, nuclear weapons, nuclear proliferation, energy policy, nuclear power/radioactive waste, national labs, and space policy.

The Industrial Physicist: October-November 2004:
"Democrats & Republicans: What's the record on physical science?"
Issues: funding trends for the physical sciences, specific program funding, and visa policy.

AAAS Science Express: September 17, 2004
"Presidential Forum: Bush and Kerry Offer Their Views on Science"
Issues: top science priorities, climate change, stem cell research, public health, space policy, visa/security policy, environmental stewardship, creationism, ITER, energy policy, and managing science.

Science: October 1, 2004
"2004 Presidential Forum: Bush and Kerry Offer Their Views on Science"
Issues: Top science priorities, climate change, stem cell research, cloning, restrictions on abortion/birth control funding, obesity program, space policy, classified research, ocean policy, Endangered Species Act, ITER, visa policy, energy R&D, NSF funding, NIH funding, creationism, financial conflict of interest, foreign students, and earmarking.

Nature: September 16, 2004
"Head to Head: Bush vs. Kerry"
Issues: visa policy, scientific panel bias, weapons of mass destruction, new nuclear weapons, missile defense, ITER, space program, science funding, environment/consumption, Endangered Species Act, genetic modification of food, climate change, drug approval process, mad cow disease, and stem cell research.

American Association for the Advancement of Science: September 30, 2004
U.S. Presidential Election 2004: The Candidates Views on Science
A 90-minute audio cast of a candidate forum on science issues with representatives from the two campaigns.

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