NCSE Evolution Education Update for 2009/04/10
(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)
Dear Friends of NCSE, Eugenie C. Scott will be on Science Friday today to discuss the fight over evolution in Texas's state science standards. Plus two chances to celebrate the Darwin anniversaries with video, and a cartoon contest to promote science education.
SCOTT TO APPEAR ON SCIENCE FRIDAY NCSE's executive director Eugenie C. Scott is scheduled to be a guest on the first hour of NPR's Science Friday show for April 10, 2009. Science Friday's description of the segment: "In late March, the Texas State Board of Education held several days of debate over new curriculum requirements scheduled to take effect in 2010. The school board eventually decided to accept evolution as accepted, mainstream science -- but the standards were modified to instruct that students examine 'all sides of scientific evidence' on a range of topics. Critics of the school board say that phrases such as 'all sides' and 'examine the strengths and weaknesses' (a phrase rejected by the board after debate) are code words that would allow the teaching of creationism in the science classroom. The large state of Texas is considered a crucial battleground in the fight over teaching evolution, as its purchasing power gives the state's curriculum standards a good deal of influence over the content of textbooks sold around the country. We'll find out how the topic of evolution will be taught under the new standards." The segment airs and streams between 2:00 and 3:00 p.m. (Eastern) on many NPR stations across the country; a list of stations is available on the show's website. For Science Friday's description of the segment, visit: http://www.sciencefriday.com/program/archives/200904101 For a list of stations airing and streaming Science Friday, visit: http://www.sciencefriday.com/about/stations/ And for NCSE's previous coverage of events in Texas, visit: http://ncseweb.org/news/texas CELEBRATE THE DARWIN ANNIVERSARIES WITH VIDEO Two projects to celebrate the Darwin anniversaries -- the bicentennial of Darwin's birth and the sesquicentennial of the publication of On the Origin of Species -- are soliciting video contributions. For its Darwin Aloud project, the Center for Inquiry West is asking people to videotape themselves by a site of natural beauty or scientific importance reading from the last chapter of the Origin. Entries are due by June 1, 2009. Evolution: Education and Outreach is inviting libraries that are celebrating the Darwin anniversaries to videotape or photograph their Darwin Year displays; a lucky winner will be featured in a forthcoming issue of the journal. Entries are due by September 1, 2009. The Society for the Study of Evolution already produced its own video celebration in time for the bicentennial of Darwin's birth, featuring members of the SSE's council, Alan Leshner of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Peter H. Raven, Francisco Ayala, Richard Lenski, Susan Epperson, Neil Shubin and Tiktaalik, high school teachers from Dover, Pennsylvania, George Coyne, Sean Carroll, faculty and graduate students at the University of St. Andrews, staff of the NCSE, Darwin Day celebrants at Cedar Crest College, and students at Michigan State University. For information about the Darwin Aloud project, visit: http://www.cfiwest.org/darwinaloud/ For information about the Evolution: Education and Outreach contest, visit: http://www.springer.com/life+sci/darwin+year+2009?SGWID=0-167002-0-0-0 For the Society for the Study of Evolution's video, visit: http://www.happybirthdaydarwin.org/ STICK SCIENCE CARTOON CONTEST Florida Citizens for Science, a grassroots organization defending and promoting the integrity of science education in Florida, is sponsoring a cartoon contest! At the FCFS blog (April 1, 2009), Brandon Haught explains, "The basic concept here is to draw a cartoon that educates the public about misconceptions the average person has about science (or for the 12-year-old and under folks, a cartoon about 'why understanding science is important')." And lack of artistic ability isn't a problem: "all entries must be drawn using stick figures. This is about creative ideas, not artistic ability." Entries are due (by e-mail or post) by May 31, 2009. Prizes include various books, movies, and toys. Judges are NCSE's executive director Eugenie C. Scott, Phil Plait, the author of Bad Astronomy and Death from the Skies!; Carl Zimmer, the author of Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea and Microcosm: E. coli and the New Science of Life; and Kate Miller, the founder of the evolution toystore Charlie's Playhouse. Full details of the contest are available on FCFS's website. For Florida Citizens for Science's blog, visit: http://www.flascience.org/wp/ For details about the contest, visit: http://www.flascience.org/sshome.html NOTICE AND REMINDER In the near future, the Evolution Education Update is going to be transferred to Google Groups. You'll continue to receive news from NCSE every week, but it will be originating from firstname.lastname@example.org. You'll also have the option of reading messages and managing your subscription on the web, rather than by e-mail. The process of transferring the list is proving to be a little slower than we hoped. You can help by directly subscribing, rather than waiting for us to add you to the new list. To do so, either send e-mail to email@example.com or visit http://groups.google.com/group/ncse-news. In the meantime, if you wish to unsubscribe to these evolution education updates, please send: unsubscribe ncse-news firstname.lastname@example.org in the body of an e-mail to email@example.com. If you wish to subscribe, please send: subscribe ncse-news firstname.lastname@example.org again in the body of an e-mail to email@example.com. Thanks for reading! And as always, be sure to consult NCSE's web site: http://ncseweb.org where you can always find the latest news on evolution education and threats to it. Sincerely, Glenn Branch Deputy Director National Center for Science Education, Inc. 420 40th Street, Suite 2 Oakland, CA 94609-2509 510-601-7203 x310 fax: 510-601-7204 800-290-6006 firstname.lastname@example.org http://ncseweb.org Not in Our Classrooms: Why Intelligent Design Is Wrong for Our Schools http://ncseweb.org/nioc Eugenie C. Scott's Evolution vs. Creationism http://ncseweb.org/evc NCSE's work is supported by its members. Join today! http://ncseweb.org/membership