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Stance on Science

The presidential primary season in the US kicked off with the Iowa caucus, and ScienceInsider takes a look at how the candidates stand on research funding, climate change, and more. It notes, though, that "the candidates have yet to sound off on many topics of interest to researchers."

The candidates who've brought it up are largely for increasing the research budget of the US National Institutes of Health. In particular, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has called for higher budgets at both NIH and the National Science Foundation as well as for increasing spending on Alzheimer's and autism research. Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, has said he supports stem-cell research.

Republican candidate Jeb Bush has also called for an increase in biomedical research funding, as has John Kasich, ScienceInsider says. When asked about research funding, Ben Carson replied that "having been in science and research my whole life, I'm struggling to try to remember anybody I've ever known who thought they had enough funding."

The Democratic candidates all say that climate change is an issue that needs to be addressed, though they differ as to how. Republican candidates, meanwhile, such as Ted Cruz, Carson, and Donald Trump mostly doubt that it is occurring or that is an issue. However, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, John Kasich, and Rand Paul have said that humans have contributed to climate change, ScienceInsider notes.

Many of the candidates have spoken about biotech crops as well, with many of them expressing support for genetically modified crops, but differing on whether they need to be labeled, ScienceInsider says. Clinton, for instance, supports GM crops and has opposed efforts to block states from requiring labels, and Sanders has backed mandatory labels. Bush and Cruz, meanwhile, have supported GM crops and opposed labeling, and Rubio and Paul have voted against mandatory labeling.