Thomas R. O'Donnell

Posts Tagged ‘Iowa Science Policy Candidate survey’

We sought candidates’ science policy views. One side mostly ignored us.

In Government, Uncategorized on November 1, 2022 at 7:24 am
The Iowa Science Policy Candidate Survey website header, featuring an Iowa map.

I’ve been involved with what began as the March for Science Iowa, now Science Iowa, almost since its inception. Launched as part of the national March for Science, its greatest achievement may have been drawing around 2,500 people to the Iowa Capitol on April 22, 2017. The Des Moines event was one of thousands around the world on Earth Day.

Another top achievement is the Iowa Science Policy Candidate Survey, an attempt to get every person seeking office in Iowa, from state legislature to U.S. Senate, on the record regarding science and science-related policy. Science Iowa has led this effort since the 2018 midterm election.

In 2020, Science Iowa’s survey received logistical support from Science Debate and the National Science Policy Network (NSPN), nonprofits that sought to foster similar efforts in other states. We joined with Iowa State University’s ASPIRE, an NSPN chapter, and the University of Iowa’s Connecting Science to Society, now an NSPN chapter, to devise the survey. Our coalition worked with multiple other Iowa science, environmental, education and agriculture organizations to compose the questions.

The 2022 midterm Iowa Science Policy Candidate Survey is having its best year yet. More, and more prominent, organizations signed on with input to our questions.

The Des Moines Register and multiple other Iowa newspapers, plus the Bleeding Heartland political blog, published opinion pieces promoting the survey. (Our attempts to appear on a conservative-leaning blog failed.)

Most importantly, we’ve received 24 candidate responses. The highlight: Both U.S. Senate candidates, Democrat Michael Franken and Republican Charles Grassley, weighed in.

Yet, that’s still only around 10 percent of the possible responses – and those we did receive revealed a worrisome phenomenon.

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