We have made some important strides this cycle in our efforts to protect and elevate science in the US national public dialogue. Here's the report:
We crowdsourced questions through our site and on Facebook, then built a universal consensus among several leading science organizations about the content and wording of the Top American Science Questions.
We greatly expanded our mainstream media coverage, becoming a resource for mainstream reporting on the candidates' positions on science issues.
We served as the only place where the presidential candidates had a substantive discussion of climate change, providing insight to hundreds of thousands of website visitors, and tens of millions of newspaper readers.
We partnered with ClimateDesk Live to host the first presidential surrogate general election science debate, a livestreamed event that provided proof of concept that Democratic and Republican politicians can debate these issues substantively and intelligently, and that the conversation can be really interesting.
The National Academies used the science debate as an educational platform featuring NAP resources and publications for policymakers and the general public.
We expanded the conversation to leaders of congressional committees having to do with science, getting several of them on record and identifying those who declined to participate.
We moved experimentally into the Washington State gubernatorial race, partnering with several Northwest science organizations. This is important because debates over university funding, STEM education, creationism in science classes, science curricula, and other issues are taking place at the state level.
While we still did not achieve our goal of a televised presidential science debate or forum, our efforts this cycle have continued to move science ahead at least one more base, establishing important precedents, expanding the discussion, forging media relationships and credibility, and helping to change the conversation. This has put science in a position to become a higher profile priority in the public dialogue moving forward.
Thank you for your leadership in supporting this important initiative. Please consider a donation to support these efforts.
Shawn Otto and the whole team at ScienceDebate.Org:
Darlene Cavalier, Matthew Chapman, Kathy Goodin, David Guston, Michael Halpern, Melinda Hough, Sheril Kirshanbaum, Lawrence Krauss, Chris Mooney, and our board of advisors, and our many organizational partners. Thank you!