NCSE Evolution Education Update for 2011/10/28
(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)
Dear Friends of NCSE, A NESCent contest for bloggers, a preview of Brunetta and Craig's Spider Silk, and a reminder about speakers from NCSE.
ATTENTION, BLOGGERS! Do you blog about evolutionary research? Then NESCent, the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, wants to send you to North Carolina to discuss science communication. Announcing its third annual blog contest, NESCent writes: "To apply for an award, writers should submit a blog post that highlights current or emerging evolutionary research. In order to be valid, posts must deal with research appearing in the peer-reviewed literature within the last five years. Posts should be 500-1000 words, and must mention the NESCent contest. Two recipients will be chosen by a panel of judges from both NESCent and the science blogging community." The lucky winners will receive $750 to cover their travel to and lodging at ScienceOnline 2012, a science communication conference to be held January 19-21, 2012, at North Carolina State University. Applications are due by December 1, 2011. For details of the NESCent contest, visit: http://blogcontest.nescent.org/2011/10/12/win-a-travel-award-for-best-evolution-themed-blog-post/ SPIDER SILK ON THE WEB NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview of Leslie Brunetta and Catherine L. Craig's Spider Silk: Evolution and 400 Million Years of Spinning, Waiting, Snagging, and Mating (Yale University Press, 2010). The preview consists of the preface -- which explains, "The evolution of spiders can help elucidate the workings of natural selection -- and why Charles Darwin's phrase 'descent with modification' so well describes evolution at both the genetic and the species level. The case of spiders can also help dispel some commonly held misconceptions about evolution, such as the notion that it always leads to a better organism or aims at a perfect adaptation to the environment" -- as well as chapter 2, which discusses mesotheles, the "living fossils" of spiderdom. The reviewer for BioScience described Spider Silk as "an ideal introduction to spiders and a tempting peek at the field of silk research that I hope will leave the reader forever fascinated and enthused by these wonderful web weavers," and Joe Lapp, in a forthcoming review for Reports of the NCSE, praises Spider Silk as "an amazing treat for arachnophiles and teachers of evolution both," adding that the book is "an enjoyable, informative, and surprising read." Spider Silk received a 2011 "Highly Recommended" award from the Boston Authors Club, was a finalist for the ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year award in the Nature category in 2010, and was listed as a best seller in botany/zoology by Library Journal. For the preview, visit: http://ncse.com/book-excerpt For information about the book from its publisher, visit: http://yalepress.yale.edu/book.asp?isbn=9780300149227 NEED A SPEAKER? As the only national organization that is wholly dedicated to defending the teaching of evolution in the public schools, NCSE is the perfect place to find someone to speak to your organization or university about issues relevant to evolution education and attacks on it. Available speakers include NCSE's executive director Eugenie C. Scott, Glenn Branch, Joshua Rosenau, Steven Newton, Peter M. J. Hess, and Eric Meikle, as well as three members of our board of directors, Barbara Forrest, Kevin Padian, and Andrew J. Petto. So if you need a speaker, please feel free to visit the speakers information page on the NCSE website or get in touch with the NCSE office. If nobody from NCSE is available or suitable, we'll try to find you someone who is! For the speaker information page, visit: http://ncse.com/about/speakers For NCSE's contact information, visit: http://ncse.com/contact Thanks for reading. And don't forget to visit NCSE's website -- http://ncse.com -- 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 x305 fax: 510-601-7204 800-290-6006 firstname.lastname@example.org http://ncse.com Read Reports of the NCSE on-line: http://reports.ncse.com Subscribe to NCSE's free weekly e-newsletter: http://groups.google.com/group/ncse-news NCSE is on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter: http://www.facebook.com/evolution.ncse http://www.youtube.com/NatCen4ScienceEd http://twitter.com/ncse NCSE's work is supported by its members. Join today! http://ncse.com/join