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Science Debate 2008

Regardless of how you voted today (you did vote today, right?), I think we can agree that the candidates have yet to seriously address science, research, and technology issues and policy.  Science Debate 2008 is a call for a Presidential debate on a key issue that affects many other facets of our lives - Science and Technology policy. Mains Associates supports this call for a debate and we encourage you to visit the site, learn more, and join the call!

I do not know who wrote Sen

I do not know who wrote Sen Obama's space policy but it leaves much to be desired. There is a lack of understanding that space science education flows from research conducted in universities and centers. It is an apprenticeship by virtue of working with an expert in the field, being involved in experiments, listening to to discussions reading and evaluating technical literature, developing hypotheses, having others critique them and so on. It is not the result of being talked at. Nor can it be a separate function/budget from the research.
For students at the school level where attracting young people to careers in science and engineering, the flaw is in having the subject taught by people without the depth or the passion for the field. To correct our atrocious system of Education that discourages youngsters from such careers, Universities must start by phasing out undergraduate Education curricula as they did for Home Economics many years ago.Instead, those given the responsibility to teach even the youngest students should have at least undergraduate degrees in whatever subject they are expected to teach with only graduate diplomas or degrees in education. This is the case in countries that are far ahead of us in education quality. Our space program has a unique role to play in attracting science and engineering students because space inspires! But then we lose them to mundane teaching environments and lack of enthusiasm from inadequately trained teachers. As Sen. Obama says "Yes, we CAN Change". Let's hope he really means it. You would not think so reading his space policy.

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