NCSE Evolution Education Update for 2012/05/04
(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)
Dear Friends of NCSE, A new issue of Evolution: Education and Outreach, and a setback for antiscience efforts in Oklahoma.
THE LATEST ISSUE OF EVOLUTION: EDUCATION AND OUTREACH The latest issue of Evolution: Education and Outreach -- the new journal promoting the accurate understanding and comprehensive teaching of evolutionary theory for a wide audience -- is now published. The theme for the issue (volume 5, number 1) is Evolution in the Museum, edited by Monique Scott. Articles include "Up from the Ape: The Spitzer Hall of Human Origins at the American Museum of Natural History"; "Evolutionary Theory and the Florence Paleontological Collections"; "Communicating Phylogeny: Evolutionary Tree Diagrams in Museums"; "Fossil Horses, Orthogenesis, and Communicating Evolution in Museums"; "Changing Museum Visitors' Conceptions of Evolution"; "Why Are Some Evolutionary Trees in Natural History Museums Prone to Being Misinterpreted?"; and "Talking About Evolution in Natural History Museums." Plus there are various articles on the teaching of evolution, book reviews, and commentaries. Also included is the latest installment of NCSE's regular column, Overcoming Obstacles to Evolution Education. In "Taking Students to the Museum," NCSE's Glenn Branch and Eric Meikle interview three museum professionals with extensive expertise in informal science education about evolution -- Warren D. Allmon, Judy Diamond, and Martin Weiss -- about the interaction of teachers and natural history museums and science centers in improving the effectiveness of evolution education. "How can natural history museums and science centers help teachers to educate their students about evolution? How can teachers prepare themselves, and prepare their students, to take full advantage of the opportunities to learn about evolution afforded by natural history museums and science centers? And what can teachers do to help their colleagues in informal science education in their shared responsibility to overcome the obstacles to evolution education?" For Evolution: Education and Outreach, visit: http://www.springerlink.com/content/120878/ For Branch and Meikle's article (subscription required), visit: http://www.springerlink.com/content/385k833h88w83h53/ ANTISCIENCE EFFORT FALTERS IN OKLAHOMA A last-ditch legislative attempt to attack the teaching of evolution and of climate change in Oklahoma failed when a legislative deadline passed. After two antiscience bills, House Bill 1551 and Senate Bill 1742, died in committee, Steve Russell (R-District 45) proposed to amend House Bill 2341 -- a bill that would have extended by two years a deadline by which local school districts are required to meet certain standards for media, equipment, and textbooks -- by adding the language from HB 1551, encouraging teachers to present "scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses" of "controversial" topics such as "biological evolution" and "global warming." The amended version of the bill would have been considered when the bill came to a floor vote in the Senate, but April 26, 2012, was the deadline for bills to receive their third reading in the opposite house, so presumably no floor vote will occur. The legislative session is not over until May 25, 2012, however, so the possibility of similar amendments to unrelated bills remains. Resistance to the amendment to HB 2341, as well as HB 1551 and SB 1742, was coordinated by the grassroots organization Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education. For Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education, visit: http://www.oklascience.org/ And for NCSE's previous coverage of events in Oklahoma, visit: http://ncse.com/news/oklahoma 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 and climate education and threats to them. -- 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