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The Answers Are In

Both President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney say that innovation is needed to grow the US economy, as their answers to questions posed by the grassroots organization ScienceDebate reflect. The candidates submitted their thoughts on 14 science and science policy-related questions.

Obama and Romney both say they strongly support research and development.

In addition to noting investments his administration made under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Obama writes that he has "proposed a goal that, as a country, we invest more than 3 percent of our GDP in public and private research and development—exceeding the level achieved at the height of the space race."

Romney says that some of that spending was not wisely done. "President Obama spent $90 billion in stimulus dollars in a failed attempt to promote his green energy agenda. That same spending could have funded the nation's energy research programs at the level recommended in a recent Harvard University study for nearly twenty years," Romney writes.

Additionally, both candidates say that science is a necessary part of public policy.

Obama writes that he and his administration have worked to make sure that policies are based on reliable science. "Only by ensuring that scientific data is never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda, making scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology, and including the public in our decision making process will we harness the power of science to achieve our goals," he says.

Similarly, Romney writes that scientific information free of manipulation should guide policy decisions. "In a Romney Administration, sound science will inform sound policy decisions, and the costs and benefits of regulations will be properly weighed in that process," he says.

The rest of the candidates' responses — on education, biosecurity, and more — may be found here.

The Scan

And For Adolescents

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Also of Concern to WHO

The Wall Street Journal reports that the World Health Organization has classified the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.617 as a "variant of concern."

Test for Them All

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PNAS Papers on Oral Microbiome Evolution, Snake Toxins, Transcription Factor Binding

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