A new poll shows that 85% of U.S. adults agree that the presidential candidates should participate in a debate specifically on how science can be used to tackle America’s major challenges. The poll found no difference between Democrats and Republicans on this question.

The poll, commissioned by Research!America and ScienceDebate2008.com and conducted by Harris Interactive, shows that 56% strongly agree and 29% somewhat agree that the presidential candidates should participate in a debate to discuss key problems facing the United States and how science can help tackle them.

“This topic has been virtually ignored by the candidates, but this poll shows that Americans of all walks know how important science and technology are to our health and way of life,” said Shawn Lawrence Otto, CEO of Science Debate 2008. “Tackling the big science challenges is critical to our children’s future – to the future of the country and the future of the planet. Americans want to know that candidates take these issues seriously, and the candidates have a responsibility to let voters know what they think.”

ScienceDebate2008 is cosponsored by the AAAS, the Council on Competitiveness, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine, and signed by over 175 American universities and other organizations.

For more information, visit www.sciencedebate2008.com/www/index.php