Missouri Science Debate

This questionnaire is meant to allow congressional candidates to share their views on science and technology, health and medicine, and the environment, issues of increasing and urgent importance to many Missourians. All candidates running for congressional seats in November 2020 will be sent this questionnaire after the primary elections. Responses from all candidates will be made public and shared with interested voters.

Questions were written by MOST Policy Initiative, in partnership with Science Debate and National Science Policy Network. The questions were vetted by several organizations across the state of Missouri.

Public Health

  • How would you go about addressing health disparities and similar healthcare needs among Missouri’s women, where the maternal mortality rate exceeds the national average and disproportionally impacts women of color?
  • What policies would you support to increase the availability of mental health personnel and services in rural and underserved parts of the state where COVID-19 has exacerbated widespread stress and anxiety?
  • How do you propose supporting efforts to equitably combat opioid use and fatalities?

Agriculture

  • What policies would you support to enable agricultural producers to provide a healthy, affordable, and sustainable food supply while mitigating negative environmental or health impacts?
  • How would you make programs and funding in the next Farm Bill science-based?
  • What is the federal government’s role in protecting farmers and landowners from extreme weather events, which climate scientists project will occur more frequently in Missouri in the coming decades?
  • How would you propose funding and supporting long-term research on climate-smart and regenerative agriculture practices?

Environment & Energy

  • How will you ensure that science and research play a critical role in monitoring and remediating water quality in Missouri’s impaired streams, rivers, and lakes?
  • What role should renewable sources of energy play for energy consumption in Missouri? 
  • How would you support businesses, organizations, municipalities, public utilities, and individual home owners to implement more sustainable waste-management and energy-use practices?
  • Research shows that floods are increasing in intensity, forest productivity is diminishing, and mosquito and tick-borne illnesses are becoming more prevalent in Missouri – What policies would you support to protect ecotourism and environments under these changing conditions?

STEM Education and Workforce Development

  • What advisory mechanism would you implement to ensure that scientific findings are a critical voice in your policy-making process?
  • Science and technology are increasingly key economic components. What policies would you support or introduce to make such industries a greater part of Missouri’s economy and ensure workers are prepared for jobs in this sector?
  • In an age dominated by complex science and technology, how can we ensure that students receive adequate STEM education?