Posted on February 16, 2016 * Comments

As you probably know, NCSE released the first national survey on the teaching of climate change in public schools last week in Science. Why did we do this survey? Our executive director, Ann Reid, wrote yesterday in our blog:

“We had anecdotal evidence, and some good, but not national, survey data, suggesting that efforts to cast doubt on the overwhelming scientific evidence of climate change were seeping into science classrooms.”

Posted on February 15, 2016 * Comments

Last Friday, February 12, the very first national survey on the teaching of climate change in U.S. middle and high schools, was published in Science magazine. I couldn’t be prouder! The results of this survey will guide not only NCSE’s work NCSE inside!

Posted on February 15, 2016 * Comments

The subject of our celebratory Fossil* Friday last week was not a fossil, true, but it was an appropriate choice for Darwin Day. I tasked you with naming the common and scientific names of the photographed finch and also completing a relevant quotation, and John Macdonell met the challenge! Congratulations, John!

Posted on February 12, 2016 * Comments

What follows is a response from Daniel Duzdevich, author of Darwin's On the Origin of Species: A Modern Rendition, to Michael Ruse’s review of his book in Reports of the National Center of Science Education. As a fitting close to Darwin week, we thought you might be interested in Duzdevich's effort to bring Darwin's classic to a wider audience.

Posted on February 12, 2016 * Comments

This week in "What We're Reading", a special treat—NCSE's very own original, peer-reviewed article in Science magazine. Also, depression, anxiety, dinosaur sex, and the latest on "what did fossil fuel companies know, and when did they know it?" Enjoy!

Posted on February 12, 2016 * Comments

Happy Darwin Day, everyone! To celebrate, I bring you this photograph:

You’ll say two things right away: 1) this is not a fossil, 2) this is very clearly one of Darwin’s finches. And you’re right on both counts! But since I didn’t have any photos of fossil barnacles handy, this seemed like an appropriate choice for a celebratory, if not unusual, Fossil Friday.

Posted on February 12, 2016 * Comments

A month or so back, NCSE got an e-mail from John Pollock asking if we'd be interested in reviewing his new app, and it somehow ended up in my lap. Now, I’m not really an app person, but this app was right up my alley: The Darwin Synthetic Interview. Basically, Pollock and his colleagues have brought Darwin to life—on our portable devices, anyway—and made it possible for us to ask him questions.

Posted on February 10, 2016 * Comments

John Tyndall

John Tyndall (right; 1820–1893), is, of course, the Anglo-Irish physicist remembered for demonstrating the greenhouse effect. But he was also a supporter of Darwin, and a member, along with his friend Thomas Henry Huxley, of the x Club, which promoted evolutionary ideas, opposed religious interference in science, and sought to increase the authority of science in society. (The other members were William Spottiswoode, George Busk, Edward Frankland, T. A. Hirst, John Lubbock, Joseph Dalton Hooker, and Herbert Spencer; all but Spencer were Fellows of the Royal Society, and four of them—Spottiswoode, Lubbock, Huxley, and Hooker—were pallbearers at Darwin’s funeral, as I observed: part 1, part 2.) So it isn’t particularly surprising to find that Tyndall, like Huxley, is occasionally misleadingly quoted by creationists.

Posted on February 09, 2016 * Comments

What do you do when you learn that an ally is a science denier?

Posted on February 08, 2016 * Comments

This past month I’ve slept terribly and it’s all because of the Big Bang. You see I’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with Brian Kruse over at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific on a teacher workshop about the Big Bang this week (and again at NSTA next month).