US Presidential Candidates on Science and Policy – Research and Climate Change

How will the aspirant presidential candidates handle long-term vs. short-term goals in scientific research and engineering? What are their thoughts on climate change and policy? Let's find out.

How will the aspirant presidential candidates handle long-term vs. short-term goals in scientific research and engineering? What are their thoughts on climate change and policy? Let’s find out.

Scientific American recently published the responses they received from many US President Candidates regarding questions on science and scientific matters. In this post, I apply the skills we expect from the practice of good argument and scientific thinking to assess the questions and the responses.

Let’s focus on the “Research” and “Climate Change” questions for this round.

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The Higgs Boson and the Bottom Quark

A candidate event from LHC Run 1 for the production of a Higgs and a Z boson; the Higgs is reconstructed as decaying into a pair of bottom quarks, while the Z boson decays into undetectable neutrinos. This event was recorded by the ATLAS Experiment.

A candidate event from LHC Run 1 for the production of a Higgs and a Z boson; the Higgs is reconstructed as decaying into a pair of bottom quarks, while the Z boson decays into undetectable neutrinos. This event was recorded by the ATLAS Experiment.

I thought it might be nice to reflect on the physics that I am most interested in understanding during this second run of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). In this post, I will discuss the Higgs boson, its expected interaction with bottom quarks, and how we have come to understand this¬†interaction (in part) during Runs 1 and 2 of the LHC. The Higgs Boson and the Bottom Quark have a close relationship. Whilethe bottom quark was found during the “glorious discovery period” of the 1970s and 1980s, and the Higgs boson was found in 2012, we have not yet a definitive direct measurement of the Higgs and Bottom Quark interaction. I am working with my colleagues to change that fact. But to understand where we are, it’s helpful to understand where it all comes from.

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US Presidential Candidates on Science and Policy – Innovation

What is Innovation? Is it something you can't define but you know it when you see it? Let's see how the candidates tried to define what is needed to keep innovation alive and thriving in the United States.

What is Innovation? Is it something you can’t define but you know it when you see it? Let’s see how the candidates tried to define what is needed to keep innovation alive and thriving in the United States.

Scientific American recently published the responses they received from many US President Candidates regarding questions on science and scientific matters. In this post, I apply the skills we expect from the practice of good argument and scientific thinking to assess the questions and the responses.

Let’s focus on the “Innovation” question for this round.

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US Presidential Candidates on Science and Policy – Questions for the Candidates

A President alone cannot set all science policy for the nation, but a well-informed President is part of a solid science policy portfolio.

A President alone cannot set all science policy for the nation, but a well-informed President is part of a solid science policy portfolio. Photo by Diego Cambiaso [2].

The first “debate” [1] between US Presidential candidates is coming up soon, on September 26. Recently, Scientific American published some of the candidates’ answers to a series of questions grounded in scientific issues and the policies that could be associated with those issues. In a series of posts on this little blog of mine, I want to take a look at the questions and the candidate responses. I want to use the tools we teach in our scientific method course at SMU to assess the question and the answers to see how they comport with the rules of good argument: clearly state the issue, avoid logical fallacies when responding to the issue, and clearly state your reasons and evidence in your response.

I’ll do a series of posts, tackling one or more questions as a time, and see how the candidates fared on matters of importance to the nation where there is clear (or not) scientific input to the issue. In this short post, I want to setup some baselines.

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