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A few weeks ago, my colleague Stephanie Keep wrote about the expansion of NCSE’s efforts from a focus solely on evolution and climate change to a larger effort to “support the development of a ‘science-savvy’ citizenry”.

As she pointed out:

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Not every educator experiences pushback when teaching about climate change. When it does happen, though, it can be surprising, particularly for someone who has been teaching for many years. Jana Dean is a middle school science teacher in Olympia, Washington. She has been teaching for over 20 years, but that doesn’t mean that new challenges never arise in her classroom.

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As you may have seen, NCSE posted a chapter from Stephen H. Jenkins’s fabulous new book Tools for Critical Thinking in Biology (PDF) (Oxford University Press, 2015) on our website. The excerpt has been wildly popular with visitors to our website—the chapter was downloaded over 9,000 times in the few weeks it was posted.

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Pope FrancisOn Thursday, June 18, 2015, Pope Francis is due to deliver his first encyclical, a major document laying out an interpretation of Catholic doctrine. His theme will be the environment, and especially climate change.

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Kate Heffernan is interning this summer at NCSE, where she is working with Minda Berbeco on teacher outreach activities. A recent graduate of the University of Florida, her undergraduate studies focused on environmental policy and education.

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The mission of NCSE has never been to teach everyone science. So how do we help improve understanding of evolution, climate science, and science as a way of knowing while simultaneously steering clear of the broader business of teaching science? Ann Reid and I had a breakthrough that has clarified the balance we need to strike.

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Kate Heffernan is interning this summer at NCSE, where she is working with Minda Berbeco on teacher outreach activities. A recent graduate of the University of Florida, her undergraduate studies focused on environmental policy and education.

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Dippy! Let me start this post with this declaration: the Natural History Museum in Knightbridge, London, is awesome. Where else does a marble statue of Darwin sit serenely atop a grand staircase overlooking “Dippy,” a magnificent Diplodocus? Nowhere.

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“Greenhouse gases” and “the greenhouse effect” are terms used to describe some of the most basic concepts related to global warming. If students learn anything about climate change, they usually learn about these first. This is good in some ways, because these are the fundamental concepts in scientific explanations of how climate change works and why the earth is warming. But the specific metaphor here, comparing the Earth to a greenhouse with carbon dioxide and water vapor cast in the roles of panes of glass, has been criticized on the grounds that it may engender a misunderstanding of the science.

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