Referring to the candidates’ comments regarding science, Nature news reports, “ . . . their sharply contrasting visions of the size and proper role of government have profound implications for science. “
In the face of competition from other countries in the world market, Obama said, “We’ve got to make sure that we’ve got the best science and research in the world.”
Romney said, “Government does not create jobs.”
What follows are direct quotes from the candidates and from Nature.
Obama: Climate change is one of the biggest issues . . . we have to meet this challenge by driving smart policies that lead to greater growth in clean energy generation and result in a range of economic and social benefits.
Romney: I oppose steps like a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system . . . . Economic growth and technological innovation, not economy-suppressing regulation, is the key to environmental protection.
Nature: Romney opposes all climate regulations. Obama used regulatory powers to push through energy and climate regulations, and subsidies for low-carbon technology.
Obama: Now I want to hire another hundred thousand new math and science teachers and create two million more slots in our community colleges so that people can get trained for the jobs that are out there right now.
Romney: I propose we grade our schools so parents . . . can take their child to a school that’s being more successful. I don’t want to cut our commitment to education, I want to make it more effective and efficient.
Nature: Obama often emphasizes science education. Romney focuses on streamlining the federal role in education while encouraging school choice and voucher programs.
Obama: I have supported an all-of-the-above energy approach that will allow us to take control of our energy future, one where we safely and responsibly develop America’s many energy resources.
Romney: A crucial component of my plan . . . is to dramatically increase domestic energy production and partner closely with Canada and Mexico to achieve North American energy independence by 2020.
Nature: Romney and Obama have tussled over who supports fossil fuels the most. The difference is that Obama continues to push to develop renewable sources for the long term.
Obama: Smart rules can save lives and keep us safe, but there are some regulations that don’t make sense and cost too much.
Romney: We must reduce the power of unaccountable regulators by requiring that all major regulations receive congressional approval and by imposing a regulatory cap that prevents the addition of new regulatory costs.
Nature: Romney would slow or stop regulation where possible. Obama moved to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens, but also used regulatory powers to further his agenda.
Obama: We will vigorously support scientists who pursue this research. And we will aim for America to lead the world in the discoveries it one day may yield.
Romney: I have a deep concern about curing disease . . . but I will not create new embryos through cloning or through embryo farming, because that would be creating life for the purpose of destroying it.”
Obama repealed limits on federal funding of stem-cell research. Romney has not specified his stance, but his religious views may stand in opposition to current policy.
Sources: SmartPlanet Daily, October 24, 2012 Nature: International Weekly Journal of Science, October 24, 2012