Friday, November 23, 2007

U.S. Presidential Candidates on Innovation, Science and Engineering Education

The November 15, 2007 issue of Business Week published an interesting special report titled Proposed Presidential Innovation. Here's a quote from the report:

Where do the leading Presidential candidates stand on the issue of innovation? The creation of new things that have value in the marketplace has always been a major force for generating wealth and power. But the rise of Asia is changing the geography of innovation, shifting it East, away from the U.S. and Europe.

Business Week asked selected candidates to define the word innovation and then asked them what their plans were to stimulate innovation in four areas (science and engineering education, green energy, the military and research and development) and asked for details on how the candidates would develop better methods to measure innovation. I've included the interviewed candidates responses to their definition of innovation and views on science and engineering education below, as quoted in the Business Week report. I've listed the interviewed candidates in alphabetical order and have left off their political party affiliations.

Hillary Clinton
Innovation: “Innovation...will be key to creating new jobs and rebuilding middle class prosperity.”

Science and Engineering Education: "Triple the number of National Science Foundation fellowships and increase the size of each by 33%; provide government financial support to encourage women and minorities to study math, science, and engineering."

John Edwards
Innovation: “Innovation means taking impossible tasks and turning them into reality.

Science and Engineering Education
: "Invest more in teacher pay and training; expand math and science education; strengthen high school curricula; expand the number and size of National Science Foundation fellowships."

Rudy Giuliani
Innovation: “America can meet its challenges through innovation...low taxes stimulate growth [and] spark innovation...”

Science and Engineering Education: "Establish federal school voucher programs; provide choice within the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; give educational opportunities to military families; expand charter schools."

John McCain
Innovation: “Innovation is fueled by risk capital, skilled workers, incentives for entrepreneurs, a light regulatory framework, and open access to markets”

Science and Engineering Education
: "Provide incentives for summer mentoring programs for high school and college math, science, technology, and engineering students; train science and math teachers."

Barack Obama
Innovation: “Innovation is the creation of something that improves the way we live our lives.”

Science and Engineering Education: "Increase science and engineering grads and minorities and women in science and technology; expand public school offerings in science, technology, engineering, and math."

Bill Richardson
Innovation: “The American Dream is a belief that we can make tomorrow better. Innovation powers that dream.”

Science and Engineering Education: "Create 250 math, science, and innovation academies countrywide for grades 7-12; fund 100,000 new math and science teachers."

Mitt Romney
Innovation: “Innovation and transformation have been at the heart of America’s success from the very beginning.”

Science and Engineering Education: "Focus on fields such as math and science so the workers of the future can remain competitive in the new global marketplace."

Fred Thompson
Innovation: “What we need is another spike in American creativity and innovation.”

Science and Engineering Education
: "Review federal programs for cost-effectiveness, reduce federal mandates, and return education money to states; encourage students and teachers to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math."

Note: Other candidates, including former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee who is moving in the Iowa Caucus polls, were not included in the report.

To read the entire excellent report including the candidates views on green energy, the military and research and development, follow this link.

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