Posted on June 30, 2015 * Comments

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.

Posted on June 29, 2015 * Comments

This week I am cutting to the chase! No long jargon-laden intros, no musings about jargon—now it’s all about the trees, baby! In fact, it’s all misconceptions about trees, and we’re going to tackle three of them.

Posted on June 29, 2015 * Comments

I used my first Fossil Friday post to bring you back…way back to the so-called Cambrian Explosion more than 525 million years ago. Many of you got the locality of this critter right away: The Burgess Shale in Canada. The Burgess Shale is famous for its exceptional preservation of early soft-bodied animals. The one preserved here is Anomalocaris, specifically, its mouthparts.

Posted on June 26, 2015 * Comments

The half-finished cupWhen we got married, my wife and I set aside part of the cup of wine traditional in a Jewish service, to be finished when marriage was available to everyone. Days before our wedding, Judge Vaughn Walker had struck down marriage segregation in California, but that decision was on hold until last year, when the Supreme Court sustained his ruling.

Posted on June 26, 2015 * Comments

In which Stephanie returns to the MCZ and tries desperately to remember the names of things... plus, you know, a fossil for your Friday.

Posted on June 25, 2015 * Comments

In his recent encyclical Laudato si’, Pope Francis argued the necessity of taking the long view in thinking about environmental ethics. I discussed the encyclical’s argument in part 1, and compared it to Aldo Leopold’s famous “The Land Ethic” in part 2.

Posted on June 24, 2015 * Comments

Cover of Garrick Gaieties souvenir program, via NYPL Digital Collections

In part 1 of “Inherit the Wind Avant la Lettre?” I raised a question. Noting that Inherit the Wind—Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee’s 1955 Broadway play; Stanley Kramer’s 1960 film; and the three television adaptations (1975, 1988, and 1999)—was such a hit, I asked, “[I]f the Scopes trial was so dramatic … why did it take thirty years for someone to write a play based on it?” The remainder of the post and the two following posts (part 2; part 3) were devoted to investigating the claim, to be found in The New York Times for January 2, 1927, that Majomszínház, a 1925 play by the Hungarian novelist Ferenc Herczeg (1863–1954), was the first play to be based on the trial. (The Times was interested because a translation of the play, Monkey Business, was about to begin rehearsals in New York City. In the event, it seems never to have been produced.) I concluded, “Majomszínház was not based on the Scopes trial. … But I suppose that a theatrical publicist can’t be expected to worry about the accuracy of details when a headline is in the offing!”

Posted on June 24, 2015 * Comments

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.

Posted on June 23, 2015 * Comments

US Fish and Wildlife Service/Mike Lockhart via Wikimedia Commons

The National Center for Science Education was recently invited to endorse Innovation: An American Imperative (PDF)—a “call to action by American industry, higher education, science, and engineering leaders urging Congress to enact policies and make investments that ensure the United States remains the global innovation leader.”