2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 20


These are the responses of the 2016 Presidential candidates to 20th of the twenty questions posed to them earlier.

I posted the responses to Question #1 at (concerning innovation) at “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 1”.

The responses to Question #2 (concerning research) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 2″.

The responses to Question #3 (concerning climate change) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 3″.

The responses to Question #4 (concerning biodiversity) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 4″.

The responses to Question #5 (concerning the Internet) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 5″.

The responses to Question #6 (concerning mental health) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 6″.

The responses to Question #7 (concerning energy) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 7″.

The responses to Question #8 (concerning science and mathematics education) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 8″.

The responses to Question #9 (concerning public health) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 9″.

The responses to Question #10 (concerning water) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 10″.

The responses to Question #11 (concerning nuclear energy) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 11″.

The responses to Question #12 (concerning food) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 12″.

The responses to Question #13 (concerning global challenges) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 13″.

The responses to Question #14 (concerning regulations) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 14″.

The responses to Question #15 (concerning vaccines) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 15″.

The responses to Question #16 (concerning space) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 16″.

The responses to Question #17 (concerning opioids) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 17″.

The responses to Question #18 (concerning ocean health) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 18″.

The responses to Question #19 (concerning immigration) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 19″.

  • Scientific Integrity

Evidence from science is the surest basis for fair and just public policy, but that is predicated on the integrity of that evidence and of the scientific process used to produce it, which must be both transparent and free from political bias and pressure. How will you foster a culture of scientific transparency and accountability in government, while protecting scientists and federal agencies from political interference in their work?

Hillary Clinton (D)

The scientists I know are women and men of great integrity. We all have something to learn from the scientific ideals of respectful argument, based on evidence, to reach an eventual consensus.

The work done by scientists at federal agencies is critical for shaping our policies on health, environment, food and drug safety, national security, and many other issues. The scientific and technological information and processes relied upon in policymaking must be of the highest integrity to engender public trust in government.

As president, I will support efforts to ensure a culture of scientific integrity in each of our science-based agencies, strengthen the credibility of government research, and facilitate open communication and public engagement.

I am deeply concerned by the recent increase in partisan political efforts to interfere in science. I strongly support the free exchange of ideas and data, peer review, and public access to research results and other scientific information, all of which can help protect science-based policy decisions from undue influence from special interests.

Finally, I believe federal policies can do even more to reinforce public trust in the integrity of science throughout the research enterprise. Though very rare, deliberate fraud in how scientists use public research dollars must be exposed, punished, and prevented. We can and will create further incentives to encourage scientists not only to maintain accountability and accuracy checks, but also to share data, code, and research results for reuse and support replication by others. Similarly, self-serving scientific claims and blatant conflicts of interest must be exposed, punished, and prevented, so that the public can trust scientific conclusions. Finally, we can and should provide further incentives to prevent foreseeable harm to human subjects and robustly protect personal privacy.

Donald Trump (R)

Science is science and facts are facts. My administration will ensure that there will be total transparency and accountability without political bias. The American people deserve this and I will make sure this is the culture of my administration.

Jill Stein (G)

It is a major concern that many Americans don’t trust our scientific and regulatory agencies, and extremely unfortunate that there are valid reasons for this declining trust that must be addressed.

For example, the current FDA commissioner appointed by President Obama was a highly paid consultant for big pharmaceutical corporations, as Senator Sanders pointed out in opposing his nomination. In the case of Vioxx, the FDA approved a profitable pain reliever that caused up to 140,000 cases of heart disease, and even tried to silence its own scientists who discovered this deadly side effect.

The CDC actually accepts huge amounts of money from big pharmaceutical corporations, as an investigation by the British Medical Journal revealed. So many scientists, doctors and watchdog groups have flagged these clear conflicts of interest in the FDA, CDC and other federal agencies.

As President I would stop the revolving door and clean up these agencies so that the American people can trust that they’re putting people over profits, and science over lobbying interests.

My thoughts

I don’t know if you even can call what Trump submitted as an answer.  Considering his own personal history of a lack of integrity and his denial of science, I am not sure that he even knows what scientific integrity is.

Stein’s answer to this question is one of, it not the only time, that she is on target.  I can only ask how she is going to stop the “revolving door” that pervades today’s politics.  And I think it is perhaps a better answer than Clinton’s.

I don’t know what to make about Clinton’s answer.  There are a lot of words in it and very little policy.  And when she talks about policy, I think she is reinventing the wheel.  This area is one in which policies are in place but enforcing them is another issue.

2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 19


These are the responses of the 2016 Presidential candidates to 19th of the twenty questions posed to them earlier.

I posted the responses to Question #1 at (concerning innovation) at “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 1”.

The responses to Question #2 (concerning research) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 2″.

The responses to Question #3 (concerning climate change) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 3″.

The responses to Question #4 (concerning biodiversity) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 4″.

The responses to Question #5 (concerning the Internet) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 5″.

The responses to Question #6 (concerning mental health) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 6″.

The responses to Question #7 (concerning energy) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 7″.

The responses to Question #8 (concerning science and mathematics education) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 8″.

The responses to Question #9 (concerning public health) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 9″.

The responses to Question #10 (concerning water) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 10″.

The responses to Question #11 (concerning nuclear energy) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 11″.

The responses to Question #12 (concerning food) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 12″.

The responses to Question #13 (concerning global challenges) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 13″.

The responses to Question #14 (concerning regulations) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 14″.

The responses to Question #15 (concerning vaccines) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 15″.

The responses to Question #16 (concerning space) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 16″.

The responses to Question #17 (concerning opioids) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 17″.

The responses to Question #18 (concerning ocean health) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 18″.

  • Immigration

There is much current political discussion about immigration policy and border controls. Would you support any changes in immigration policy regarding scientists and engineers who receive their graduate degree at an American university? Conversely, what is your opinion of recent controversy over employment and the H1-B Visa program?

Hillary Clinton (D)

As president, I will fight to make sure the United States continues to be a place where individuals from around the world can come to pursue their dreams and use their talents to help our country grow and innovate. This includes the talented scientists and engineers who choose to pursue their education at American universities.

Our immigration system is plagued by visa backlogs and other barriers that prevent high-skilled workers and entrepreneurs from coming to, staying in, and creating jobs in America. Far too often, we require talented people from other countries who are trained in United States universities to return home, rather than stay in here and continue to contribute to our economy. As part of a comprehensive immigration solution, we should “staple” a green card to STEM masters and PhDs from accredited institutions—enabling international students who complete degrees in these fields to move to green card status. I will also support “start-up” visas that allow top entrepreneurs from abroad to come to the United States, build companies in technology-oriented globally traded sectors, and create more jobs and opportunities for American workers.

In my first 100 days in office, I will put a bill before Congress introducing comprehensive immigration reform. This bill will secure our borders, focus our enforcement resources on violent criminals, keep families together, and include reforms to retain and attract talented, skilled scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs.

In addition, there are an estimated nine million lawful permanent residents in our country who are eligible to become citizens. We need to promote the benefits of American citizenship, and eliminate the cost barriers to naturalization. I will also work to ensure that individuals who immigrate to our country have the support they need to integrate into their communities. I will create a National Office for Immigrant Affairs, and will support affordable integration services through new grant funding.

Donald Trump (R)

Immigration has been one of the cornerstones of my campaign. The issues brought up in your question are exactly what we should be addressing in immigration reform. If we allow individuals in this country legally to get their educations, we should let them stay if they want to contribute to our economy. It makes no sense to kick them out of the country right after they achieve such extraordinary goals. As for the H1-B program, we cannot allow companies to abuse this system. When we have American citizens and those living in the United States legally being pushed out of high paying jobs so that they can be replaced with “cheaper” labor, something is wrong. The H1-B system should be employed only when jobs cannot be filled with qualified Americans and legal residents.

Jill Stein (G)

We support the H1-B Visa program. However, we must look at it in the context of overall immigration policy, trade, economic and military policies. In the big picture, we are concerned about a global economy in which people have to leave their home countries to find decent jobs. We support more just international development and demilitarization, so that people don’t have to go half way around the world to find just employment.

My thoughts

I have a problem with this question.  Within the context of science and technology, one has to ask why there is a H1-B program in the first place and why American business must seek foreign qualified workers.  Second, what will be done to make sure that this program is not abused.  I don’t think either of the candidates really answers the question.

Trump’s answer is what you expect.  What is interesting is that in one breath he states that companies that companies should not be allowed to abuse the H1-B program but there is at least one report that his companies are one of those who have abused H1-B program.  Where it not for that, I wouldn’t have any problem with his comment.

While I cannot disagree with Stein’s answer, I don’t think it completely addresses the question.  Clinton does address the issues that must be addressed under the context of immigration reform.

2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 18


These are the responses of the 2016 Presidential candidates to 18th of the twenty questions posed to them earlier.

I posted the responses to Question #1 at (concerning innovation) at “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 1”.

The responses to Question #2 (concerning research) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 2″.

The responses to Question #3 (concerning climate change) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 3″.

The responses to Question #4 (concerning biodiversity) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 4″.

The responses to Question #5 (concerning the Internet) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 5″.

The responses to Question #6 (concerning mental health) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 6″.

The responses to Question #7 (concerning energy) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 7″.

The responses to Question #8 (concerning science and mathematics education) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 8″.

The responses to Question #9 (concerning public health) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 9″.

The responses to Question #10 (concerning water) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 10″.

The responses to Question #11 (concerning nuclear energy) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 11″.

The responses to Question #12 (concerning food) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 12″.

The responses to Question #13 (concerning global challenges) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 13″.

The responses to Question #14 (concerning regulations) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 14″.

The responses to Question #15 (concerning vaccines) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 15″.

The responses to Question #16 (concerning space) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 16″.

The responses to Question #17 (concerning opioids) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 17″.

  • Ocean Health

There is growing concern over the decline of fisheries and the overall health of the ocean: scientists estimate that 90% of stocks are fished at or beyond sustainable limits, habitats like coral reefs are threatened by ocean acidification, and large areas of ocean and coastlines are polluted. What efforts would your administration make to improve the health of our ocean and coastlines and increase the long-term sustainability of ocean fisheries?

Hillary Clinton (D)

Our coastal and ocean resources play a critical role in providing nutritious food, good livelihoods, and critical storm protection for our nation. With about 40 percent of our nation’s population living in coastal counties, 1.8 million Americans making their livelihood from fisheries, and 3 billion people globally dependent on the oceans for a major portion of their protein, we cannot afford to ignore the health of our oceans.

I will continue to recover and rebuild U.S. fish stocks by making sound management decisions based on the best available science. The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act laid an important foundation for guiding how we manage our fisheries. My administration will work with fishers so that we continue to have the best managed fisheries in the world, and I will oppose efforts in Congress that seek to weaken Magnuson-Stevens or divorce it from our best science. These steps will protect the livelihoods of today’s fishers and ensure the health of these resources for generations to come.

At the same time, we will act globally to address the fisheries crisis. Ninety percent of our seafood is imported, making the United States one of the top markets for fish from around the world. Yet, experts estimate that up to 32 percent of that seafood, worth up to $2 billion, comes from “pirate” fishing. This illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing also deprives fishing communities of up to $23 billion per year and puts honest, hardworking American fishers at a disadvantage in the marketplace. I will work with our industry, and other countries, to implement strong traceability standards for our seafood from bait to plate.

In addition, we must continue to protect and restore the coastal habitat upon which healthy fisheries depend. My administration will work collaboratively across government, academia, and industry to build solutions that keep our waters clean, our coastal and ocean resources healthy, and our communities thriving.

At the same time, climate change and carbon pollution is also taking a heavy toll on our oceans. From oyster farms in Washington State to coral reefs in Hawaii and rising seas in Virginia, warming, acidifying waters are damaging our resources and the people who depend on them. I will make sure America continues leading the global fight against climate change, support development of the best climate science, and instruct federal agencies to incorporate that knowledge into their policies and practices so that we are preparing for the future, not just responding to the past.

Donald Trump (R)

My administration will work with Congress to establish priorities for our government and how we will allocate our limited fiscal resources. This approach will assure that the people’s voices will be heard on this topic and others.

Jill Stein (G)

Our climate action and environmental protection plans will work to conserve fish stocks and coral reefs. Rapid response to climate change is the centerpiece of the Stein administration. From plastic trash to ocean acidification, we will move smartly to address ocean health with or without Congress.

My thoughts

Trump’s answer was again a non-answer answer.  It does not even address the question.  Stein’s answer is only slightly better in that it identifies plans that will be used.  But she doesn’t really identify the content of those plans.

And personally, I don’t see how she can, as President, take action without Congress.  To ensure that the oceans remain healthy will require international action and the President, whomever that will be, cannot really take action without Senate support and approval (all we have to do is review what happened when Woodrow Wilson tried to get approval for the Versailles Treaty and the establishment of the League of Nations).

Clinton’s answer is another one of those answers that shows her policy background.  But I think it is a bit overkill.  She states that 90% of our seafood is imported which makes the US one of the top markets (which I think is obvious).  Then she takes on an entirely different area – illegal fishing.

Illegal fishing is a problem, no doubt, but I think that is part of the overfishing problem and one that will require international cooperation, not just unilateral action on our part.

Still, Clinton is the only one to show the relationship between the health of the oceans and climate change.

2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 17


These are the responses of the 2016 Presidential candidates to 17th of the twenty questions posed to them earlier.

I posted the responses to Question #1 at (concerning innovation) at “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 1”.

The responses to Question #2 (concerning research) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 2″.

The responses to Question #3 (concerning climate change) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 3″.

The responses to Question #4 (concerning biodiversity) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 4″.

The responses to Question #5 (concerning the Internet) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 5″.

The responses to Question #6 (concerning mental health) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 6″.

The responses to Question #7 (concerning energy) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 7″.

The responses to Question #8 (concerning science and mathematics education) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 8″.

The responses to Question #9 (concerning public health) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 9″.

The responses to Question #10 (concerning water) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 10″.

The responses to Question #11 (concerning nuclear energy) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 11″.

The responses to Question #12 (concerning food) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 12″.

The responses to Question #13 (concerning global challenges) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 13″.

The responses to Question #14 (concerning regulations) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 14″.

The responses to Question #15 (concerning vaccines) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 15″.

The responses to Question #16 (concerning space) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 16″.

  • Opioids

There is a growing opioid problem in the United States, with tragic costs to lives, families and society. How would your administration enlist researchers, medical doctors and pharmaceutical companies in addressing this issue?

Hillary Clinton (D)

Our country is in the grips of a quiet epidemic of drug and alcohol addiction. Twenty-three million Americans suffer from addiction, and 52 million Americans over the age of 12 have misused prescription drugs, including one in four teenagers. We must work with medical doctors and nurses across the country to treat this issue on the ground, from how patients are accessing these medications to how we are supporting them in recovery.

To combat America’s deadly epidemic of drug and alcohol addiction, I have proposed a $10 billion initiative, and laid out a series of goals to help communities across the country. We need to expand the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment block grant and support new federal-state partnerships targeting prevention, treatment, recovery, and other areas of reform. We must empower communities to implement preventive programming for teenagers; help individuals suffering from addiction receive ongoing, comprehensive treatment; and provide first responders with naloxone, which prevents overdoses from becoming fatal. We must also work with those individuals prescribing controlled medications, and ensure they are getting the proper training in providing these prescriptions.

Finally, we must prioritize rehabilitation and treatment over prison for low-level and non-violent offenders. Currently, 65 percent of inmates in our prison system meet medical criteria for substance use disorders and over half of inmates suffer from a mental health problem. Jail time should not be a substitute for treatment. Working together, we can combat this epidemic and ensure that people across the country are getting the care they need to live long and healthy lives.

Donald Trump (R)

We first should stop the inflow of opioids into the United States. We can do that and we will in the Trump administration. As this is a national problem that costs America billions of dollars in productivity, we should apply the resources necessary to mitigate this problem. Dollars invested in taking care of this problem will be more than paid for with recovered lives and productivity that adds to the wealth and health of the nation.

Jill Stein (G)

We will end the “war on drugs” and redirect funds presently budgeted for the “war on drugs” toward expanded research, education, counseling and treatment.

My thoughts

I really don’t think that Trump understands the problem.  The opioid problem comes from drugs that are already in this country rather than those smuggled into the country.  And, as has been his tendency shown in other answers, he doesn’t really offer a solution nor where the funds for whatever solution he might propose comes from.  There are times when I think he feels that all he has to do is wave his hands and the problem will disappear.

While I agree in principle with Stein’s statement that the “war on drugs” needs to be ended, I am not sure that her answer solves the problem.  First, the “war on drugs” has been directed towards non-opioid based drugs and is very much a class-based war.  The opioid problem goes beyond class.  I am also disappointed with the brevity of Stein’s answer, if for no other reason, that she has the background and knowledge to offer a far more detailed answer.

As Clinton points out, we need to decriminalize drug usage simply because incarceration does not equate to treatment.  Stein and Clinton are in agreement that treatment must be the focus, though I am not sure where Clinton will find the funds for her programs (unless she addresses the priorities of the budgets.

There is a secondary issue that increased education is a necessity so that we better understand how to use drugs and how to better treat addiction.



The following “popped” up in my mailbox after I posted this piece – Reviewing the Candidates on Addiction and Opioids

2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 16


These are the responses of the 2016 Presidential candidates to 16th of the twenty questions posed to them earlier.

I posted the responses to Question #1 at (concerning innovation) at “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 1”.

The responses to Question #2 (concerning research) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 2″.

The responses to Question #3 (concerning climate change) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 3″.

The responses to Question #4 (concerning biodiversity) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 4″.

The responses to Question #5 (concerning the Internet) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 5″.

The responses to Question #6 (concerning mental health) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 6″.

The responses to Question #7 (concerning energy) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 7″.

The responses to Question #8 (concerning science and mathematics education) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 8″.

The responses to Question #9 (concerning public health) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 9″.

The responses to Question #10 (concerning water) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 10″.

The responses to Question #11 (concerning nuclear energy) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 11″.

The responses to Question #12 (concerning food) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 12″.

The responses to Question #13 (concerning global challenges) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 13″.

The responses to Question #14 (concerning regulations) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 14″.

The responses to Question #15 (concerning vaccines) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 15″.

  • Space

There is a political debate over America’s national approach to space exploration and use. What should America’s national goals be for space exploration and earth observation from space, and what steps would your administration take to achieve them?

Hillary Clinton (D)

President Kennedy’s challenge in 1962 to go to the Moon within a decade electrified the nation, prompted a long period of American leadership in science and technology, and spurred a generation of innovators.

In the decades since, we have explored the sun and every planet in our solar system; mapped the surface and studied the atmosphere of Mars and confirmed the presence of water on the Red Planet; discovered new solar systems with Earth-like planets; mapped the distribution of galaxies in the universe; observed black holes, dark matter, and dark energy; built programs to monitor our ozone layer and the catastrophic impact of global climate change; and identified and mapped near-Earth asteroids as a first step to protect our planet from a major asteroid impact. The International Space Station stands as the largest and most complex international technological project in history and has been key to understanding the response of the human body to long periods in zero gravity. And in recent years, new companies have sprung up that offer the promise of innovative approaches to transporting cargo and, eventually, humans in space. Americans have always been willing to think big, take risks, and push forward. These pillars will continue to underpin what America does in space, just as they define who we are as a people.

As president, my administration will build on this progress, promote innovation, and advance inspirational, achievable, and affordable space initiatives. We must maintain our nation’s leadership in space with a program that balances science, technology and exploration; protect our security and the future of the planet through international collaboration and Earth systems monitoring; expand our robotic presence in the solar system; and maximize the impact of our R&D and other space program investments by promoting stronger coordination across federal agencies, and cooperation with industry. I will work with Congress to ensure that NASA has the leadership, funding and operational flexibility necessary to work in new ways with industry, placing emphasis on inventing and employing new technologies and efficiencies to get more bang for the buck while creating jobs and growing the American economy.

Today, thanks to a series of successful American robotic explorers, we know more about the Red Planet than ever before. A goal of my administration will be to expand this knowledge even further and advance our ability to make human exploration of Mars a reality.

As a young girl, I was so inspired by America’s leadership and accomplishments in space that I wrote to NASA about becoming an astronaut. As president, I will help inspire the next generation of young Americans and do what I can to ensure that we have the world’s most exciting and advanced space program, one that meets our highest human aspirations in a world where the sky is no longer the limit.

Donald Trump (R)

Space exploration has given so much to America, including tremendous pride in our scientific and engineering prowess. A strong space program will encourage our children to seek STEM educational outcomes and will bring millions of jobs and trillions of dollars in investment to this country. The cascading effects of a vibrant space program are legion and can have a positive, constructive impact on the pride and direction of this country. Observation from space and exploring beyond our own space neighborhood should be priorities. We should also seek global partners, because space is not the sole property of America. All humankind benefits from reaching into the stars.

Jill Stein (G)

We recognize the inspiration provided by space exploration and so we support:

  1. the peaceful exploration of space
  2. space-based systems to monitor environmental conditions on Earth
  3. measures to ensure that space technology benefits all the people of Earth

Space exploration and science are international scientific endeavours requiring cooperation between many nations and peoples across borders. The peaceful exploration of space provides inspiration, education, and valuable scientific knowledge. Cooperation on space science and exploration is a promising path to peace. The US has an opportunity to continue leading in space science while ending space militarization. The US can lead international collaboration in space science and exploration without privatizing outer space or turning over space science and exploration efforts to corporations.

Climate science, including the study of other planets in our solar system and beyond, is essential for understanding how to address climate change on Earth. Space science, exploration, and Earth observation provide tools, technologies, and science to help address not only climate change but flooding, drought, storms, famine, and other crises. By focusing US space efforts away from corporate and military interests, we can work to create peace here on Earth and in space, prevent the deployment of space weapons and instead focus on technologies to solve problems on Earth, not create new ones.

Here are steps we will take to advance space exploration and science:

  • Funding STEM education and forgiving student debt of STEM scholars so they can focus on science and research.
  • signing of the International Treaty for the Demilitarization of Space.
  • Ensuring scientists, not corporate or military interests, are driving the space exploration and science agenda
  • Ensure funding of pure research, for the benefit of all humanity and our planet.
  • Work closely with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) on ensuring the peaceful exploration of space.

My Thoughts

Trump’s answer was another classical non-answer answer.  This time, he didn’t even attempt to answer it, offering what has become known as “word salad”.

Stein’s answer put the issue of climate change under the auspices of space, which I believe is incorrect.  While the results of space exploration can yield gains in the area of climate change, to place climate change in the area of space exploration risks limiting the efforts to improve the climate change problem.

I am not entirely certain that answer is entirely correct, at least from the standpoint of corporate and military interests.  I do not like the increased amount of corporate participation in space but when budgets for space exploration are constantly reduced each year, what can you expect?

I am also not certain that the military has as big an impact on the issues in space as Stein thinks, primarily because the situation today is not what it was when the space race began in the early 1960s.  And as long as we are going to rely on non-human based intelligence gathering processes to obtain our intelligence around the world, there is a need for military satellites.

But I also think that the emphasis needs to be more on what we can find in space and not what we can see from space.

Clinton’s answer also recognizes what we have done but not what we are going to do.  And again, her answers suggest she is not seeking a restatement of budget priorities, moving money away from other sources to support science & technology issues.  As long as the majority of money in the budget is directed towards the military and security components of the budget, there will never be enough money for science & technology.

2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 15


These are the responses of the 2016 Presidential candidates to 15th of the twenty questions posed to them earlier.

I posted the responses to Question #1 at (concerning innovation) at “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 1”.

The responses to Question #2 (concerning research) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 2″.

The responses to Question #3 (concerning climate change) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 3″.

The responses to Question #4 (concerning biodiversity) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 4″.

The responses to Question #5 (concerning the Internet) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 5″.

The responses to Question #6 (concerning mental health) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 6″.

The responses to Question #7 (concerning energy) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 7″.

The responses to Question #8 (concerning science and mathematics education) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 8″.

The responses to Question #9 (concerning public health) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 9″.

The responses to Question #10 (concerning water) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 10″.

The responses to Question #11 (concerning nuclear energy) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 11″.

The responses to Question #12 (concerning food) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 12″.

The responses to Question #13 (concerning global challenges) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 13″.

The responses to Question #14 (concerning regulations) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 14″.

  • Vaccination

Public health officials warn that we need to take more steps to prevent international epidemics from viruses such as Ebola and Zika. Meanwhile, measles is resurgent due to decreasing vaccination rates. How will your administration support vaccine science?

Hillary Clinton (D)

Through vaccinations and vaccine science, I am committed to protecting our nation’s children, as well as populations worldwide, from infectious disease threats.

Over the last two decades, we have made extraordinary global gains in reducing childhood illness and deaths through expanded use of vaccines and immunization. The number of childhood deaths from infections such as measles, whooping cough, diphtheria, and other diseases has dramatically declined in recent years, in large measure due to vaccination. We still have a long way to go, but globally – with the support of Gavi, UNICEF, the World Health Organization and other international organizations – I will work hard to press for the elimination of these deadly diseases.

At the same time, the recent measles outbreaks in California’s Marin and Orange counties remind us that we cannot be complacent with our own nation’s vaccine policies. Measles, for example, remains a serious matter, killing almost 100,000 children annually around the world. As president, I will work closely with the talented physicians, nurses, and scientists in our US Public Health Service to speak out and educate parents about vaccines, focusing on their extraordinary track record in saving lives and pointing out the dangers of not vaccinating our children.

Additionally, the recent outbreaks of Ebola, Zika, and MERS are a wake-up call that we must continue to innovate and develop disease countermeasures. Our scientists have made great progress. Yet there remains a troubling “innovation gap” between early phase vaccine discovery and industrial-scale production and vaccine delivery. We need to engage stakeholders across industry, non-profits, foundations, and government to bridge this gap and spur the development of a new generation of vaccines.

Donald Trump (R)

We should educate the public on the values of a comprehensive vaccination program. We have been successful with other public service programs and this seems to be of enough importance that we should put resources against this task.

Jill Stein (G)

Vaccines are a critical part of our public health system. Vaccines prevent serious epidemics that would cause harm to many people and that is why they are a foundation to a strong public health system. Polio is an important example. So is H Flu – a bacterium that caused serious illness, including meningitis, in 20,000 children a year in the US, before development of the H flu vaccine. We need universal health care as a right to ensure that everyone has access to critical vaccines.

Experts like Douglas Diekema, MD MPH, say that the best way to overcome resistance to vaccination is to acknowledge and address concerns and build trust with hesitant parents. To reverse the problem of declining vaccination rates, we need to increase trust in our public health authorities and all scientific agencies. We can do that by removing corporate influence from our regulatory agencies to eliminate apparent conflicts of interest and show skeptics, in this case vaccine-resistant parents, that the motive behind vaccination is protecting their children’s health, not increasing profits for pharmaceutical companies.

My thoughts

Trump’s answer is interesting in many ways.  First, there seems to be a grudgingly given acknowledgement that progress has been made.  But the way in which is stated seems to be almost an afterthought.

I would have liked Stein’s answer better if you had left the last sentence out.  This sentence should have been part of her answer dealing with regulation.  In my opinion, placing that statement in this section limits the effectiveness of her answer (which based on her own background) should have been the strongest one given.

Clinton’s answer indicates a willingness to move in a direction that would do much to improve the health of the world’s people.  But, while in earlier cases, she seemed to offer major support and push for solutions, she opted to say that the present methods work.  Maybe that is all that is needed but in light of previous answers it seems a little limited.

2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 14


These are the responses of the 2016 Presidential candidates to 14th  of the twenty questions posed to them earlier.

I posted the responses to Question #1 at (concerning innovation) at “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 1”.

The responses to Question #2 (concerning research) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 2″.

The responses to Question #3 (concerning climate change) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 3″.

The responses to Question #4 (concerning biodiversity) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 4″.

The responses to Question #5 (concerning the Internet) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 5″.

The responses to Question #6 (concerning mental health) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 6″.

The responses to Question #7 (concerning energy) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 7″.

The responses to Question #8 (concerning science and mathematics education) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 8″.

The responses to Question #9 (concerning public health) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 9″.

The responses to Question #10 (concerning water) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 10″.

The responses to Question #11 (concerning nuclear energy) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health & Environmental Questions – Question 11″.

The responses to Question #12 (concerning food) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 12″.

The responses to Question #13 (concerning global challenges) are at  “2016’s Top Presidential Science, Engineering, Tech, Health -& Environmental Questions – Question 13″.

  • Regulations

Science is essential to many of the laws and policies that keep Americans safe and secure. How would science inform your administration’s decisions to add, modify, or remove federal regulations, and how would you encourage a thriving business sector while protecting Americans vulnerable to public health and environmental threats?

Hillary Clinton (D)

It is essential that environmental, health, and energy regulations, among other areas, use the best available science to guide decision-making, and I am committed to making sure that continues. For instance, we will have science guide us as we make important investments around health care. We will continue to invest in research to further our understanding of disease, including ramping up our investment in Alzheimer’s and related dementias to $2 billion per year, continuing Vice President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot, and scaling up our broader investment in the National Institutes of Health’s budget to combat all of the diseases of our day.

My opponent in this race has consistently discounted scientific findings, from his comments about vaccines to his claim that climate change is a hoax. These dangerous positions not only put Americans at risk, but can have long term impacts on our country’s growth and productivity. Science will ensure our country continues to progress, and will help our government use its resources to provide the best possible life for all Americans.

Donald Trump (R)

This is about balance. We must balance a thriving economy with conserving our resources and protecting our citizens from threats. Science will inform our decisions on what regulations to keep, rescind or add. A vibrant, robust free market system will regulate the private sector.

Jill Stein (G)

We will rely on evidence-based approaches to regulation. Science advisors will play a central role in our administration. We will appoint scientific review panels and committees.

Some guiding principles for our approach to regulation:

  • Protect the rights of future generations. Adopt the Precautionary Principle. When an activity poses threats of harm to human health or the environment, in the absence of objective scientific consensus that it is safe, precautionary measures should be taken. The proponent of an activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof.
  • Redirect research funds from fossil fuels into renewable energy and conservation, as well as other technologies that promote the transition to a sustainable civilization.
  • Enact stronger environmental justice laws and measures to ensure that low-income and communities of color are not disproportionately impacted by harmful pollution and other negative environmental and health effects.

My thoughts

Okay, Trump’s answer is a classical Republican/big business answer when he states that a vibrant, robust free market system will regulate the private sector.  While that my work in theory, it has not seemed to work when Republicans have been in charge.  Very simply put, Republicans and conservatives in general tend to put individuals in charge who have an investment in the area that they are asked to regulate.  The fox can never be let into the hen house.  And as Clinton noted, without naming Trump directly and ignoring the presence of Stein (and Johnson), her opponent doesn’t appear to believe in scientific evidence.

Stein’s answer, as many of her earlier answers, moves very quickly away from the topic.  She does state that decisions that might be made by her administration will be based on the evidence but then she goes into other area, while appropriate and necessary, don’t address the question.

I am not quite sure what to make of Clinton’s answer.  It recognizes the need for science and evidence upon which to base subsequent regulations but limits how this will all be done.