Tech Joins Science Debate 2008

By Marcia Goodrich | Published

Michigan Tech has signed on to Science Debate 2008, a grassroots effort encouraging presidential candidates to address science and technology issues as part of the campaign.

In doing so, the University became part of the “Science 57,” a group of leading universities and other organizations that have joined the effort to raise awareness of the impact of science and technology.

"As more and more demands are made on the Earth's resources, innovations in science and technology may determine our very survival," said President Glenn Mroz. "Increasing the standard of living worldwide will demand new technologies and innovations, and those are based in large part on research and education in the STEM disciplines, a key strength of Michigan Tech. A debate on these issues will not only help voters choose a president, it will also underscore how important support for science is to America's economic and environmental future."

In addition to Michigan Tech, Science Debate 2008 signatories include the universities of Minnesota, Washington, New York, Arizona, North Carolina, Columbia and others, the Carnegie Institution of Washington, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Council on Competitiveness, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the State Educational Technology Directors Association, the Semiconductor Industry Association, the Association for Women in Science, the Fox Chase Cancer Center, The Aspen Institute and many others.

“Science and engineering are responsible for half of our nation’s growth in GDP over the last 57 years, and have come to impact every aspect of our lives, our economy, our health, our environment and our decision-making processes. No other debate topic can claim anything close to that impact on voters’ lives,” said Shawn Lawrence Otto, a spokesman for the group and one of the debate’s organizers. "Collectively, the signers of this initiative represent millions and millions of American voters."

The effort is co-chaired by Congressmen Vern Ehlers, (R-Michigan) and Rush Holt (D-New Jersey) and is being championed by Bart Gordon, chair of the House Science and Technology Committee. It includes several former and current presidential science advisory council members from both major political parties and more than 12,000 scientists, engineers, and concerned citizens, including dozens of Nobel laureates and other top scientists and engineers, university presidents and business leaders. It is cosponsored by the AAAS and the Council on Competitiveness.

For more information on Science Debate 2008, visit

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 60 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.