The folks at Sciencedebate point out in their question to the candidates regarding science education "A comparison of 15-year-olds in 30 wealthy nations found that average science scores among U.S. students ranked 17th, while average U.S. math scores ranked 24th." Science education has never been more important to maintaining our competitive edge in an increasingly global economy. Raising a generation of scientifically literate citizens is essential to solving problems like global climate change, finding clean means of meeting our growing energy needs, curing diseases like AIDS and cancer, and much more.
While Senator McCain has yet to answer the fourteen questions Sciencedebate2008 has put to him, his recent selection of Governor Sarah Palin speaks volumes when it comes to his attitude toward science and the importance of improving science education in America. McCain has picked as his running mate a global warming denier, someone opposed to stem cell research, and a person alleged to have advocated for banning books from the local library during her service on the Wasilla, Alaska city council. None of these positions represents a recipe for improved American competiveness.
After years of doctored scientific reports to cover up the extent and urgency of global climate change, pollution, and other problems the selection of Sarah Palin demonstrates a McCain administration offers at best four more years of ambivalence about science and technology. This isn't change, just more of the same. It hardly matters what McCain's answers are to the Sciencedebate2008 questions. His actions have already spoken for him.