On Science & Technology: The Forum

The odds of actually seeing this take are someplace between slim and none – so, why not here? After all, these two topics are more important than ever, and are the center of numerous important issues that the candidates frequently ignore, skirt, or poorly answer.

We should note that neither political party would agree to these rules and the debate topic because they prefer rules that favor them – not the voters. Therefore, our aim is getting the answers that Americans need to hear or identifying the fraudulent candidates.

Introduction
Welcome to the aFrankAngle Theater for the Performing Arts as it hosts the Presidential Forum on Science and Technology. This first-ever event is co-sponsored by the aFrankAngle Center of Blogging Decency and the aFrankAngle Foundation for Candidate Accountability and No-Campaign-Bullshit. We’ve invited all the candidates from both major parties

First, the rules.
Rule 1) The moderator makes the rules, asks the questions, and runs the debate. Anyone disagreeing with any of the moderator’s questions, rules, or actions during the debate should always refer to Rule 1.

Rule 2) When answering the question, talk back to the audience through the moderator. For instance, start your answer by paraphrasing the question as your introductory phrase. For instance: (Q) What is your favorite color? (Ex) My favorite color is blue. Bad examples of starting an answer include (which some, maybe all, on this stage have used):

  • I think a better question is ….
  • Let me tell you what I think.
  • I’m not going to talk about that, but I will say …
  • That’s a good question, and I’m happy to be here.
  • I believe the American people are looking for someone to speak the truth.
  • First of all, …

Rule 3) After your answer, provide several supporting statements for your answer. (Ex) My favorite color is blue because it was the most prominent color at my grandparent’s house. I would spend time with them each summer amidst all that blue. I would go outside to work and play with all that blue sky – endless on the open plains – simply beautiful. I also resemble my grandmother, and wouldn’t you know it, I inherited her blue eyes. Those are the main reasons why blue is my favorite color.

Rule 4) Focus on answering the question and staying on topic. If you babble, go off topic, criticize the current administration or any fellow candidate, the moderator will turn off your microphone and enclose you in the Cone of Silence. On the third offense, you will be removed from the stage in an unexpected manner as a trap door, hooked cane, or a vaporizer.

Rule 5) If you answer the question to the moderator’s satisfaction, there will be no follow-up questions.

Also note that we prepared as many questions as possible without an introductory premise because we want to avoid leading questions and bias. The audience should know that the candidates did not receive the questions in advance, however, received a list of topics as science/science processes, evolution, genetics, health, technology, energy, and the environment.

Topic 1:Science
Q1) What is science?

Q2) Give examples of good science and bad science – but each example of one requires an example of the other.

Q3) Does science have limits on its area of study?

Q4) How do you define a scientific theory?

Q5) Is it acceptable for elected officials to hold back or alter scientific reports if they conflict with their own views, and how will you balance scientific information with politics and personal beliefs in your decision-making?

Q6) Do science and religion compete against each other?

Q7) Explain why Intelligent Design and 7-day Creationism should or should not get time in the science classroom.

Topic 2: Genetics
Q8) The field of genetics has exploded possibilities. What is the right policy balance between genetic advances and potential risks?

Q9) What is your position on government regulation and funding of stem cell research?

Q10) Assuming health insurance companies cannot deny health insurance, is the information from genetic testing/screening the same as a pre-existing condition?

Q11) How should we use and not use genetically modified plants?

Q12) Scientist created seedless watermelons by chemically changing the chromosome number in watermelons. Should seedless watermelons be banned?

Topic 3: Health
Q13) How do you see science, research, and technology contributing to improved health and quality of life?

Q14) How do you protect citizens from pandemics?

Q15) What role do vaccines have in our society today?

Q16) Should a public school and a private school have the authority to deny admission of a student whose parents decided not to vaccinate their children?

Q17) In a time of fiscal restraint, how do you secure more funding toward combating mental illness?

Q18) Should the Federal government financially fund research in science topics as health and energy?

Topic 4: Technology
Q19) Should the internet be considered a public utility?

Q20) How can science and technology spur innovation?

Q21) In an era of budget cutting, how can promote research while reducing spending on research?

Q22) What role does science and technology play in national security?

Topic 5: Energy and the Environment
Q23) Water is necessary. Should the Federal government provide financial assistance to arid states and/or states with considerable droughts?

Q24) What role do alternative energy resources have in our society?

Q25) What role does the United States have in the global community regarding climate change?

Q26) Explain 3 concerns you have about the climate change issue.

Q27) In the recent nuclear negotiations with Iran, why or why not should physicists be on the negotiating team?

Q28) Would you abolish the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)? If not, why not? If so, how would environmental regulations be protected and enforced.

Topic: Questions From the Audience
Because all the candidates have been removed from the stage for repeated rule violations, let’s bring back all of them because it’s time for questions by the audience.

What questions do you have for the candidates? (Caution to questioners: Respectfully ask your question in nonpartisan manner; plus the question is to all candidates, not a specific candidate.)

A reminder to the candidates. Let’s see if you’ve learned anything about answering questions in a debate. The rules still apply, and to see if you’ve learned anything, no leniency.

Mr. Producer, is the buzzer ready?

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75 thoughts on “On Science & Technology: The Forum

  1. WoW! Frank, your questions are simple, yet heavy. Possibly, you should be running for president.
    Hope I have time to come back & re-read. This is important stuff to Canadians as well.

    Like

  2. I’m coming just to watch the candidates get removed by any one of the possible removal options the minute they start to obfuscate and diddle around! 🙂 I also think Frank that on Topic 5 you should probably start by asking the candidates if they consider the climate to be changing….. You sir, should be running the debates! 🙂

    Like

    • Pauline,
      Somewhere in these many pages is a post about my debate rules (which has more specifics). The crazy thing about the debates in this country, the campaigns and the parties are the ones driving the rules … hence the problem. Meanwhile, here, I imagine someone would be removed before finishing their first sentence!

      Like

      • These are excellent questions, Frank, but each one, answered seriously by each candidate would take days to get through. They are complex questions that require thoughtful answers—-if there are answers. Certainly there are no quick and dirty answers.

        What your “debate” has in common with the sideshow we usually see is that it is NOT a debate…..it is an interrogation. Your interrogation has serious questions and you want serious answers. The interrogation we will see this week will only pretend to be serious.

        I will watch it because that is how I judge the politicians as persons….their character, how they speak, what they choose to speak about, body language, interaction with others, etc. In the short time allowed that’s all that is possible. I can always read up on their backgrounds, achievements, experience. In the end I trust my gut.

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        • This week’s event is not a debate … and neither is the one here … but at least I didn’t call it a debate. Your use of interrogation made me laugh, however, given typical approach by candidates, the people deserve better answers.

          Good point about watching to determine various aspects of character. I can respect that, along with your fortitude to be able to watch it.

          Yes, this would take days to have 20 candidates answer these questions. Even if the group would be 4, it would still take a while, but, I maintain these are important questions that the candidates will generally not touch during the entire campaign.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I think Cynthia has given the most thoughtful comment to this post, one with which I agree. The best recent example being able to analyze a candidate’s worthiness I can think of is that of Rick Perry’s “oops” moment when he couldn’t think of an entire department (DOE) he would eliminate. It was obvious then that he was inclined to treat serious matters superficially and govern by dogma rather than, say, science, technology and serious contemplation. Rick would have gotten the hook in your debate right off the bat.

          Like

        • Jim,
          I wouldn’t require a lot of deal, but I would need more than lines of campaign bullshit. Let’s face it – when it comes to answering questions, politicians (as a whole) do a lousy job. Meanwhile, I imagine in my rules, I would have the buzzers and cones of silence will be getting a workout.

          Like

  3. sorry but this is not something i can participate in. if i can’t have the option to discuss benghazi, benghazi, email, benghazi, or email, then i’m out.

    best wishes and don’t be gay,
    ted cruz

    Like

  4. I really don’t like science but question 5 drew my back into the audience. I’m sure you know, we also have an election coming up soon in Canada, and of course, the hoopla, and insanity that goes along with each candidate is happening. I try my best to ignore all media coverage on the election since most of it is garbage.

    Like

  5. How refreshing it would be to hear questions like these addressed instead of endless rants of how fabulous a certain candidate finds himself and follow-up rants by others as to why he’s not so fabulous. I’ll probably tune in Wednesday night to see if that’s the case. Somehow I’m not too hopeful.

    Like

  6. I really wish you could run the debates, Frank. I always enjoy your rules, your questions, and especially the Cone of Silence (as needed, of course). You sort of asked something I’d like to ask: Over the past two decades, federal funding for basic science research, especially in the medical field, has decreased substantially. Competition for these fewer funds is fierce, with much of funding now going to the Big Guys at the Big Institutions, the money pooling in certain areas and creating stagnation in research and development. If elected, will you increase R&D funding for the basic sciences? If so, why? If not, why not?

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      • Sort of, Frank. I have an inside track on basic science research, and having watched the ever decreasing funding, I wonder if important, leap-forward, discoveries will be missed not just because of the decrease in funding but because of the disparity when it comes to dispersing funds. Unfortunately, I can’t think of a way to improve the system (peer-reviewed). I’d hate to see the politicians deciding what they think is worthy of funding and what is not. Good grief. That would be a terrible mess under the current circumstances (or maybe under any circumstances).

        You’re right about the preface. Not needed. I’m feeling wordy today. 🙂

        Like

  7. What, no Freedom of Religious Choice? Dang Frank. And wait I read again, you forgot all about the the Constitution and when not to follow the Law of the Land.

    I can’t wait for this debate, such a good way to go about it. I think though it might be like wrangling wet cats.

    Like

  8. Wow, these are great questions, Frank that took a lot of thought. That’s it. I’m voting for you for President! Are you game? On the drought question – I think the US should assist states with a drought, especially if they are contributing so much to our economy agriculturally and otherwise. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amy,
      Thanks for the support … but I’m going to decline the nomination on grounds of sanity. 😉 … As a whole, these are good questions that many Americans would love to hear the answers … and regardless if one disagree or agrees, the questions would help bring clarity to a voter. In terms of the drought question, oh yes … your state was in my mind on that one!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I loved your answer to one of the commenters that you won’t be watching the debates because you have to clip your toenails. I spit out my tea I was laughing so hard. Anyway, your format gave me an idea: I suggest CNN hold this debate using your format and let Americans tweet questions but have them randomly chosen on the spot. Then each candidate should get a two minute rebuttal. Given the amount of candidates, the debate would take 10 years, but we’d get some interesting replies and maybe begin to see who is serious and qualified.

    Like

    • E-Tom,
      A bit late on my response, but this is the day after the debate, and I didn’t get my toenails clipped!!!! … but I still didn’t watch.

      I don’t think any of the news organizations could use my format because they create questions for ratings. Although I maintain my ability to silence them would get the reality TV viewers to tune in.

      Like

  10. For a moment I imagined these questions in here for our poiticians…. 🙂 Actually I would have added some more questions too, for example about art… Ah, dear Frank, I wished the differences to be only in geographic details…You are amazing. Thank you, at least I dreamed… Love, nia

    Like

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