Though most voters cast their vote based on each presidential candidates’ stances on the economy, terrorism, health care, gun control and foreign policy, most fail to explore the candidates’ stances on issues of science.
Popular culture and media recently obsessed over the state of both Hillary Clinton’s and Donald Trump’s health, but science still has not starred in the 2016 presidential election. In an effort to expose these issues, each election year.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science compiles a list of science-related questions for the candidates to respond to. In general, the major candidates’ views drastically differ.
Clinton said, “I believe in science,” during her acceptance speech for her nomination. Clinton hopes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in 2025 by up to 30 percent.
Contrastively, Donald Trump tends to doubt science. He tweeted, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” Trump also warned he would undo some climate initiative plans achieved under President
Barack Obama like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to reduce power plant emissions. He believes removing this initiative would increase economic output by 700 billion dollars in the next 30 years.
With regard to research funding, Clinton wishes to pioneer researchers to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease by 2025 by increasing funding for biomedical research.
She also plans to fortify a Public Health Rapid Response Fund to prevent and protect against serious public health crises and pandemics. On a radio show in 2015, Trump mentioned, “I hear so much about the NIH (National Institutes for Health) and it’s terrible.” In response to the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s questions, he said, “We cannot simply throw money at these institutions and assume that the nation will be well served,” even though Trump also said Alzheimer’s disease research is a “total top priority” for him.
He has applauded Florida governor Rick Scott on his initiatives against Zika but has not articulated a plan of his own on public health crises.
Clinton has not publically expressed a stance on genetic engineering, though at a meeting of the Biotechnology Organization, she said, “I stand in favor of using seeds and products that have a proven track record … scientifically provable …”
In December, she followed this up by saying, “There are a lot advocates who fight hunger in Africa who are desperate for genetically modified organism seeds because they are drought resistant and they don’t know how else they are going to get enough yield to feed people.”
Trump also favors genetically modified organisms, but differs from Clinton in that he opposes the mandatory labeling of genetically modified organisms, which he believes to be safe and healthy. Clinton says, “There’s a right to know.”
Both candidates have expressed support for and similar views on vaccines and science, technology, engineering and math education.
Though science is typically less highlighted than other areas, it still remains a major underpinning of the world.