Presidential Candidates Answer Key Science and Technology-based Questions

September 13, 2016

For Immediate Release

Media Contact: 
Jamie L. Vernon, PhD
Director of Science Communications and Publications
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society or 800-243-6534 logo

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. ― All four major candidates for United States president have responded to key questions about science, engineering, technology, health, and the environment. The 20 questions came from a coalition of 56 nonpartisan organizations, led by and representing scientists and engineers worldwide. Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society is member of the coalition and provided input into the question development process. has posted the responses from Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Jill Stein, and Gary Johnson at

"Through the responses to these questions, the candidates offer us a definite contrast as to their grasp of scientific reality and approach to solutions,” said John C. Nemeth, executive director and CEO of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society. “Thus, a clear choice is open to all who read and understand their twenty statements.”

Hundreds of questions for the candidates were crowdsourced by Sigma Xi and other coalition members. These questions were refined into the “20 most important, immediate questions,” said chair Shawn Otto. The questions and answers will be widely distributed to the science community, journalists, and the general public to help voters make well-informed decisions in November. 

The organizations supporting the discussion are the following:

*American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Association of Geographers
*American Chemical Society
American Fisheries Society
American Geophysical Union
*American Geosciences Institute
*American Institute of Biological Sciences
American Institute of Professional Geologists 
American Rock Mechanics Association
American Society for Engineering Education
American Society of Agronomy
American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
American Society of Mammalogists
American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering
Association for Women Geoscientists
Association of Ecosystem Research Centers
Automation Federation
*Biophysical Society
Botanical Society of America
Carnegie Institution for Science
Conservation Lands Foundation
Crop Science Society of America
Duke University
Ecological Society of America
Geological Society of America
International Committee Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies
Materials Research Society
NACE International, The Worldwide Corrosion Authority
*National Academy of Engineering
*National Academy of Medicine
*National Academy of Sciences
National Cave and Karst Research Institute
*National Center for Science Education
National Ground Water Association
Natural Science Collections Alliance
Northeastern University
Organization of Biological Field Stations
Paleontological Society
Scientific American magazine
Seismological Society of America
*Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
Society for Science & the Public
Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections
Society of Fire Protection Engineers
Society of Wetland Scientists
Society of Women Engineers
Soil Science Society of America
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Tufts University
*Union of Concerned Scientists
University City Science Center
*U.S. Council on Competitiveness
The Wildlife Society
World Endometriosis Research Foundation America

*Supplied experts to the questions development process
**Lead organizer

The consortium’s 20 questions and the candidates’ answers are available online at

Additional reading:'s announcement.

This page was updated on September 20 with information that Gary Johnson had supplied responses.

More About Sigma Xi: Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society is the world’s largest multidisciplinary honor society for scientists and engineers. Its mission is to enhance the health of the research enterprise, foster integrity in science and engineering, and promote the public understanding of science for the purpose of improving the human condition. Sigma Xi chapters can be found at colleges and universities, government laboratories, and industry research centers around the world. More than 200 Nobel Prize winners have been members. The Society is based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. On Twitter: @SigmaXiSociety