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EarthSky // Press Released Apr 06, 2008

Leading science broadcasters discuss ‘science in the U.S. election year’ at EarthSky headquarters

Science and technology have been primary drivers of the U.S. economy for decades. And yet, by the year 2010, 90% of the world’s scientists are expected to live in Asia.

Leading science broadcasters discussed this issue and more on April 6, 2008, at EarthSky’s company headquarters in Austin, Texas. The discussion – led by Shawn Lawrence Otto of the nonpartisan ScienceDebate2008.com – focused on the role of science in U.S. culture during this election year.

ScienceDebate2008 is the popular initiative calling for a presidential debate by the candidates on science and technology. Otto pointed to many scientific issues that the candidates could be discussing but aren’t, including science and technology as drivers for U.S. competitiveness on a global scale, global warming, stem cell research, the role of science and technology in the ‘war on terror,’ and more.

ScienceDebate2008 is supported by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and other leading science organizations including EarthSky Communications. Shawn Lawrence Otto is helping to spearhead the initiative as a member of the ScienceDebate2008 steering committee. Otto said the candidates have been invited to debate, but, so far, although some candidates have sent representatives to talk with ScienceDebate2008, no candidate has yet agreed to a debate.

Otto spoke at an opening reception for the Science Literacy Project workshop to be held in Austin during the week of April 7. Organized by SoundVision Productions of Berkeley, CA, and funded by the National Science Foundation, the workshop brings together leading science broadcasters from around the U.S. to explore issues related to reporting on science.