National Center for Science Education
The petition to ask the Scottish government to ban the teaching of creationism in the public schools was revived when, at its January 27, 2015, meeting, the Public Petitions Committee of the Scottish parliament decided to forward the petition to the Education and Culture Committee for further action.
As a result of a controversy over creationist encroachments in the public schools in South Lanarkshire, Scotland, and a petition to the Scottish parliament to ban the teaching of creationism as scientifically credible, there are now dueling motions about creationism in the Scottish parliament.
As challenges to the integrity of science education burgeon at the beginning of 2015, NCSE would like to thank its Supporting Organizations for their generous assistance during the previous year.
NCSE is seeking to hire a Director of Community Organizing and Research. The full-time position involves implementing a new NCSE program aimed at facilitating the development of local community groups focused on support of high-quality science education.
South Dakota's Senate Bill 114 is the fourth antiscience bill of 2015, following on the heels of Missouri's House Bill 486, Indiana's Senate Bill 562, and Oklahoma's Senate Bill 665.
Wyoming's House Bill 23 (PDF) was passed by the House of Representatives on a 39-21 vote on January 26, 2015, according to the Casper Star-Tribune (January 27, 2015), and now proceeds to the Senate. The bill would allow the state to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards by repealing a footnote in the state budget for 2014-2016 that precluded the use of state funds for "any review or adoption" of the NGSS.
A Montana legislator, Clayton Fiscus (R-District 46), is preparing to introduce a bill purporting to "emphasize critical thinking in instruction related to controversial scientific theories on the origin of life" such as "biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, random mutation, natural selection, DNA, and fossil discoveries."
Senate Bill 665 (document), styled the Oklahoma Science Education Act, is the third antiscience bill of the year.
NCSE is pleased to announce that the latest issue of Reports of the National Center for Science Education is now available on-line.
NCSE is pleased to congratulate David Morrison, who received the 2015 Education Prize from the American Astronomical Society.
"Call it a back-door approach to failed attempts to chip away at state standards on teaching evolution and to bring creationism into the public school classroom," wrote the Lafayette, Indiana, Journal and Courier (January 20, 2015), referring to Senate Bill 562, which if enacted would deprive administrators of the ability to prevent teachers from miseducating students about "scientific controversies."
Indiana's Senate Bill 562, introduced and referred to the Senate Committee on Education & Career Development on January 20, 2015, is the second antiscience bill of the year, following Missouri's House Bill 486.
NCSE is delighted to congratulate Richard Lewontin on being named as a recipient of the Crafoord Prize in Biosciences for 2015.
A milestone: there are now over 90,000 fans of NCSE's Facebook page. Why not join them, by visiting the page and becoming a fan by clicking on the "Like" box by NCSE's name?
Missouri's House Bill 486 (PDF), introduced in the Missouri House of Representatives on January 13, 2015, would confer "academic freedom to teach scientific evidence regarding evolution" to teachers. If enacted, the bill would in effect encourage science teachers with idiosyncratic opinions to teach anything they pleased, and discourage responsible educational authorities from intervening. The bill specifically cites "the theory of biological and hypotheses of chemical evolution" as controversial.
"The West Virginia Board of Education voted Wednesday to withdraw changes proposed to the state's science education standards," reports the Charleston Gazette (January 14, 2015).
West Virginia's board of education is to reconsider its decision to undermine the treatment of climate science in its new state science standards at its January 14, 2015, meeting, according to The New York Times (January 13, 2015).
It's time to dust off your Darwin costume again: less than a month remains before Darwin Day 2015!
NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview (PDF) of James McClintock's Lost Antarctica: Adventures in a Disappearing Land (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).