Date Set for Presidential Science Debate 2008
By Alexis Madrigal EmailFebruary 11, 2008 | 1:42:24 PMCategories: 2008 Presidential Election, Politics

The growing movement to host a presidential debate focused on science has reached a new milestone. The organizers of Science Debate 2008 have set a date, April 18, and a venue, the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. With the details firm, the four remaining presidential candidates Democrats Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton along with Republicans John McCain and Mike Huckabee, have received their invitations. There is no word yet on which candidates plan to attend, but we'll keep you updated as (we hope) the RSVPs come in. has expressed public support for Science Debate 2008, joining a long list of other institutions that believe the candidates' ability to set smart policies on scientific issues is a key component of their fitness for the presidency.

For more background on Science Debate 2008, you can check out our previous coverage here on Wired Science and a longer article from Sarah Lai Stirland,'s crack political reporter. Sarah had a great quote from Lawrence Krauss, a physics professor at Case Western, noting the host of science-based topics that have serious policy significance--stem cell research, climate change, science education, and biotechnology. (And Loretta, I'm sure, would add the future of space exploration).
technoir: (Default)
( Feb. 20th, 2007 10:40 am)
So I had an interesting discussion last night with my grandfather at dinner concerning global warming and nuclear power. This led me to an see what other people think on the subject. Now there is very little doubt at this point that the data definitely points to global warming is occurring. Now there may be some debate as to whether it is caused by normal cycles of climate for the planet or is it caused by human industrial byproducts. Lets assume it is caused by humans. A sizable portion of the greenhouse gases in the world is from our power generation in coal burning power plants. This could easily be replaced by switching to nuclear power. Now there are other alternatives but each of them have large obstacles. Wind power, so far is of an efficiency that would make it impractical to have fields large enough to produce enough power for everyone who wants and needs it. Solar power despite having a better efficiency still is only producing during the day and it also not as great a power output as nuclear power. Hydroelectric makes a huge ecological impact by reshaping the water ways but it has good efficiency, but there are only so many rivers you can plug up. So Nuclear power is the only mature technology that could produce as efficiently or even more so than coal power that is available to us now. Which would you prefer, nuclear power or greenhouse gases? Now I tend to support Nuclear power. It is a technology that has not finished cooking perhaps but it is if done correctly it is actually quite safe. there is still debate as to whether 3mile island caused more than a couple of fatalities and it was about as bad as american nuclear power plans can get. Chernobyl was bad. Real bad. But it was also the result of an outdated design and a deliberate experiment in trying things outside the safety margins. There are some research lines to actually reduce the waste to almost nothing by extracting and reprocessing the usable isotopes and re burning them in the reactor. I am interested in what other people seem to think on this though.


technoir: (Default)


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