With all the crap that passes for serious political debate in the media, it’s often difficult to find concrete information on the candidate’s policy positions.

That’s especially true when it comes to issues involving science and technology, an area where a serious discussion at the national level has gone missing for most of the decade.

However, a group called Science Debate 2008 is trying to do something about that.

With the support of every major American science organization and more than 38000 scientists, engineers and others, the group developed a set of 14 questions which they presented to both major presidential candidates.

You can read the answers submitted by the Obama campaign now. A note on the site says “John McCain has said he will also answer the questions”.

Considering how important scientific research and development is to this country (not to mention the rest of the world), I hope so.

Of course, this relatively short list doesn’t cover everything that needs to be part of the debate.

But, while the responses certainly offer more information than we get from political sound bites, it’s still a good start to a serious discussion that’s been postponed way too long.