The group ScienceDebate.org argues that the folks who would be our leaders should be knowledgeable about how scientific evidence and research effects public policy and economic growth. So they have asked each of the leading four candidates 20 questions related to science policy. Among them are questions on government funding of research, how to handle man-made climate change, what role does vaccination play in protecting public health, how protect biodiversity, what role is there for nuclear power in our energy mix, and what should be done about the problem of opiod addiction.
Just few excerpts from the Johnson/Weld campaign's answers are below
On innovation: First, true leadership in science and engineering cannot happen without a robust economy that allows the private sector to invest and innovate. Conversely, in times of slow or nonexistent growth and economic uncertainty, basic research and higher-risk development are among the first items to be cut. Thus, the most important policies for science and engineering are those that reduce the burdens on the economy of deficit spending and debt, and which reduce a tax burden that siphons dollars away from investment and into government coffers….
On climate change: We accept that climate change is occurring, and that human activity is contributing to it, including through greenhouse gases like methane, nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide. Unfortunately for policymakers—the very activities that appear to contribute to climate change also contribute to mankind's health and prosperity, so we view with a skeptical eye any attempts to curtail economic activity….
On energy: The Johnson Weld administration takes a holistic, market-based approach to energy policy. We believe that no source of energy is categorically wrong or right, but some sources of energy may be procured or used incorrectly or used in the wrong applications, too often as a consequence of government interference and manipulation….
On vaccination: We believe the current legal infrastructure regarding vaccination is basically sound. There are currently no federal vaccination requirements, leaving those requirements largely to the states and school districts, consistent with the legal requirement that children attend school.
On scientific integrity: Science has too often been encouraged to oversell its results in the political theater. In order to have a fully informative exchange between politics and science, investigators and reporters should be as transparent as possible with respect to the degrees of uncertainty findings have.
Go here to read and compare the answers to the 20 science policy questions of all four leading candidates.
Disclosure: The Johnson/Weld campaign asked me to provide some input into their answers which I did.