Sigma Xi Joins Effort to Ask Political Candidates for Science and Technology Positions

October 23, 2017

For Immediate Release

Media Contact:

Eman Ghanem, PhD
Director of Membership, Chapters, and Programs
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society or 800-243-6534 ext. 212

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. ― Researchers across the United States will help voters learn how their 2018 congressional and gubernatorial candidates view science and technology. 

This initiative is led by Science Debate, a nonprofit organization that asks candidates to discuss science. Science Debate has invited all candidates running for the U.S. House, Senate, and gubernatorial seats in the mid-term elections to answer 10 questions on science policy prior to Election Day—November 6, 2018. Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society is supporting this effort by asking its U.S. members— thousands of scientists and engineers—to encourage their candidates to answer the questions. Candidates’ answers will be posted at when they are received. The public will be able to look state by state to see how candidates responded. 

The questions range from the candidates’ preferred energy strategies to how they would prepare for cyber attacks.  

“These questions will get the most attention from candidates when their constituents get involved,” said Sheril Kirshenbaum, executive director of Science Debate. “Our partners such as Sigma Xi are critical to making this effort a success.”

This is the third year that Sigma Xi has partnered with Science Debate. Previously, Sigma Xi members helped develop science policy questions for presidential candidates and Science Debate posted their answers in the 2008, 2012, and 2016 elections. This is the first time Science Debate and its partners are addressing questions to Senate, House, and gubernatorial candidates. Questions for the 2016 presidential candidates served as a model for this year’s questions.  

“Sigma Xi is a nonpartisan organization that supports research,” said Jamie L. Vernon, Sigma Xi’s executive director and CEO. “That includes using research in policy development. We are proud to help the public find information that is often overlooked in election coverage—how their candidates understand the scientific evidence surrounding our society’s most pressing problems, and what they would do with that information.” 

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