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10 Candidates Running For Office Who Are Speaking Up For Science in 2018

The best quotes from pro-science candidates.

2 FEB 2018

For too long scientific issues have been conspicuously missing from the nation's political conversation - but the organization Science Debate is trying to change this.

Science Debate is a nonpartisan organization that is trying to get candidates, elected officials, the public and the media to focus more on science policy issues that are crucial for modern life.


So we pretty much think they rock.

As part of the noble cause, Science Debate is asking 2018 candidates who are running for office 10 questions about science and technology, ranging from the issue of climate change to cybersecurity.

The answers are still coming in, but for now, here are some of the best responses yet.

1. Jason Westin - Texas-District 7

Scientist and Doctor

"Facts are facts, and should not be treated as partisan fictions. We must respect and elevate science by having more scientists involved in government and in policy development," said Westin.

"It is irresponsible and dangerous to have career politicians with little to no scientific background creating our scientific policy and funding levels. For America to remain a dominant force for centuries to come, we must increase our investments in and respect for science."

2. Tom Taylor - Utah-District 4

PhD in Robotics

"Climate change is the greatest threat humanity has yet faced and I want the United States to be a leader in creating solutions," said Taylor.

"There is going to be a green energy revolution in the coming decades and the United States can reap the economic gains if we make the right choices today."


3. Joseph Kopser - Texas-District 21

Entrepreneur Army Veteran with a background in Aeronautical Engineering

"Every facet of quality of human life has been improved through scientific inquiry and technological advances," said Kopser.

"To devalue the concept of objective reality and to demean or obstruct scientific inquiry… is a certain path to slamming the brakes on human progress."

4. Richard L. Watkins - North Carolina-District 4

PhD in Microbiology and Immunology

"Since WWII, innovations in science and technology have been responsible for half of the growth of the U.S. economy and it is safe to say that science has also been responsible for keeping our nation safe and healthy," said Watkins.

"From the Internet, to antibiotics, vaccines, GPS and cryptography, it must be clearly stated that science and technology are required for: economic growth, improved public health and national security." 

5. Mike DeCillis - New York-District 11

Public School Teacher

"I am an educator, and as such I both study, and teach science and scientific methodology," said DeCillis.

"I believe in science, and believe good scientific data to be useful in making decisions. It is up to us to elect members of the House and Senate who believe in science and scientific principles, and who can defer to scientists in different fields without disregarding scientific facts - something that is done selectively at present."

Screen Shot 2018 01 24 at 4.30.10 pmScreenshot Science Debate

6. Paul Tonko - New York-District 20

Current Congressman and Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee

"Cuts to NASA and agencies like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) do nothing to make our nation safer or more successful – and actually end up costing us money in the end. Programs like these observe weather patterns that cause exponentially more devastating damage when they're not predicted or prepared for," said Tonko.

"Further, our space exploration programs are more than flying a shuttle to the moon. They are responsible for the most important inventions, scientific findings, and innovative events in American and human history."


7. Mike Clark - Texas-District 31

Background in Geology and Geospatial Technology

"Climate change is real and needs to be taken seriously. It poses a direct threat to our jobs, health, and security... John Muir, one of our early naturalists in America, knew how vitally connected we all are to this planet. He noted, "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." True then, and still true today," said Clark.

"Denying climate change is like denying the bubonic plague. Both can kill us, and we'd be fools to deny the facts."

8. Elizabeth Moro - Pennsylvania-District 7

Managing Real Estate Broker

"Building an economy of innovation must include support for science and technology," said Moro.

"We need policies which nurture innovation, continue to build our infrastructure to support new technology, and provide entrepreneurs with research and development resources to continue to bring new opportunities to our country. America needs to be able to compete with the world in science and technology."

9. James F. Henry - Florida-District 11

Municipal Administrator and Journalist

"The question about whether humanity has an impact on the environment, bringing about climate change should not be a debate. It is counter-intuitive to think that we do not have a significant effect on the world around us," said Henry.

"We need common sense public policies designed to minimize the damage our existence causes on the world around us, and to mitigate the effects for which we are responsible. This is to the benefit of everyone."

10. Chris Richardson - California-District 7

Green Party Candidate

"We need to reallocate war resources to restore people's health, and the environment, as well as renewable resources," said Richardson.

"Currently the US spends more on defense than the next dozen countries combined. We should be using at least half of their budget in taking care of our health, education, and planet."

Visit Science Debate to read more responses.