Brad Feld

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Should the Next President Be Scientifically Literate?

Dec 17, 2007
Category Government

Amy forwarded another 3QuarksDaily article titled Science Debate 2008, and Krauss on Science and the Presidential Campaign.

Did you know that according to a 2006 National Science Foundation Study, 25% of Americans did not know that the earth goes around the sun?  I had to stop and read that twice.

I’m not talking about the age old "evolution vs. creationism" discussion that eventually devolves into a polarizing (and in my mind irrational) religious debate.  I’m not talking about global climate change.  I’m talking about basic science.  How do plants grow?  How do planes fly?  What’s the difference between ice, water, and steam?  What is the relationship between the earth and the sun?

While it’s entertaining to me to consider the notion of having a qualifying science test (say – ninth grade science level) for all voters to be able to vote, I know this isn’t the right path to go down for a variety of reasons.  However, maybe we should give this test to all the presidential candidates.  Anyone up for a "Leave No President Behind" rule?