Science isn’t a partisan issue. It affects each of us every day regardless of ideology. It will affect our future. It is time for the discussion of who would be the better candidate to move science from the sidelines to the headlines.

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WHETHER you hail from the state of Washington, Kansas or anywhere else in the United States, you should care deeply about the presidential candidates’ positions on federal funding for scientific research.

From controlling the impact of the Zika virus to controlling the cost of Medicare; from protecting America from terrorist attacks to protecting Americans’ private data; and from creating new jobs to creating the next “big thing:” scientific research — and the discovery and innovation it fuels — is at the root of our ability to successfully address these issues.

A group of prominent business leaders recently took out national newspaper ads proclaiming that “federal funding of basic scientific research is an investment in our prosperity, security and well-being.” They are right. More than half of U.S. economic growth since World War II can be traced to science-driven technological innovation fueled by federally funded research conducted at universities and national laboratories across the country.

But for our next president, the threats and opportunities are even greater.

Because the Science Coalition is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan organization, we do not advocate for one candidate over another. However, this election season we are instead working to make the case that science matters — especially when casting your vote for president.

Continued strong investments in research are the only way we will find a treatment for Alzheimer’s, which is responsible for one in every five Medicare dollars spent today, or to develop the innovations necessary to rapidly respond to infectious disease outbreaks. Social-science research and advanced technologies dramatically improve our understanding of threats and protect our citizens from those who want to do us harm.

Our climate is changing and science is key to unlocking solutions. Today, researchers are using genomic medicine and powerful computational and analytical tools to pursue groundbreaking new approaches for treating our most vexing diseases. “Big data” and the “internet of things” are similarly opening doors to innovations previously unimaginable.

This work is happening at research institutions across the country — and right next door.

Washington State University is dedicated to untangling complex problems to enrich the quality of life in Washington and around the globe. WSU is part of a consortium of public research institutions, hospitals and nonprofits working to preserve the use of antibiotics and protect us from infectious diseases. WSU works in tandem with other research universities to address stormwater, the No. 1 source of pollution in Puget Sound. And we are working with local companies and researchers to develop new biojet fuels from forest residuals that will make our air cleaner, fuel sources more sustainable and create new jobs and career opportunities.

At the University of Kansas, a key part of the university’s mission is to make discoveries that change the world. The KU Cancer Center has received National Cancer Institute designation and offers cutting-edge treatments to patients, allowing them to stay close to home. KU researchers are developing new drugs for a range of human diseases, tracking the melting of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica and projecting water levels in the Ogallala Aquifer so Kansas farmers can make informed decisions about their water usage. These efforts and many more across KU have a profound economic effect on the state and contribute to new discoveries and innovations that benefit society as a whole.

The Science Coalition, a group of 60 research universities, recently asked people around the country why science should matter to the presidential candidates. The answers reflect what people care about: protecting their families, having access to good jobs, leaving the world a better place for their children, curing disease, alleviating poverty.

Yet, the answers also reflect that Americans intuitively get the connection between scientific research and a better life. Polling of U.S. voters by Research!America confirms people believe scientific research plays an important role in their lives and that the next president should assign a high priority to research and innovation.

Science isn’t a partisan issue. It affects each of us every day regardless of ideology. It will affect our future. It is time for the discussion of who would be the better candidate to move science from the sidelines to the headlines.