Whose science and tech platform is better?
As the election nears, much focus is dedicated to the presidential campaign platforms on the economy and the federal budget. Both candidates publicly champion the advancement of science and technology, and recognize scientific progress as a cornerstone of the American economy and way of life. However, minimal attention is given to the specifics of the science and tech platforms.
ASU physicist and author Lawrence Krauss is helping to draw attention to these specifics via a two-part series on Future Tense at Slate magazine.
The first article, Bombing the Test, touches on climate change and the environment, with the majority focused on the current state of the United States' nuclear weapon arsenal and missile defense.
“The Republican platform ... focuses on modernizing our strategic nuclear arsenal and promotes missile defense as a key strategic tool,” Krauss writes. Meanwhile, “the Democratic platform explicitly recognizes that reliance on nuclear arms is a strategic chimera and that a reduction in nuclear weapons should be a central goal.”
Krauss concludes missile defense systems are a waste of resources, in spite of the Romney campaign intending to throw money at a severely inadequate U.S. system and the Obama campaign advocating for a European defense system to fend off a more likely short-range missile from Iran.
In a second piece, Krauss asks, “Whose Space Exploration Policy Is Better—Obama’s or Romney’s?" With the shuttle program’s retirement, there is a need for definitive space exploration policy. In addition to assessing the campaigns’ platforms, Krauss also offers a series of questions the platforms do not address, most notably, “what are the direct scientific and technological benefits of space exploration?”
Future Tense is a collaboration among ASU, the New America Foundation, and Slate magazine that explores the ways emerging technologies affect policy and society.