On Friday, November 7, the Texas State Board of Education (SBoE) voted 11-4 to place all submitted high school and advanced placement (AP) biology books on the “conforming” list, making them eligible for adoption by local districts.
On November 6, 2003, the Texas Board of Education voted to place all eleven biology textbooks under consideration on the approved list, despite protests of antievolutionist groups about the treatment of evolution in the books. The 11-4 vote was preliminary, and the final vote will take place on November 7.
Washakie County School District #1 will not change its treatment of evolution. According to an Agape Press report, the board has voted 5-2 not to adopt a new policy on teaching biology. The proposed policy would have labeled evolution "only a theory and not a fact ", and continued "Teachers shall be allowed in a neutral and objective manner to introduce all scientific theories of origin and the students may be allowed to discuss all aspects of controversy surrounding the lack of scientific evidence in support of the theory of evolution "
On November 1, 2003, a statement was released urging the Texas Board of Education to resist pressure on it to undermine the treatment of evolution in biology textbooks now under consideration. Signed by over 550 Texas scientists and educators, the statement observes that "Any dilution in textbooks of the overwhelming scientific evidence for evolution should sound an alarm to every parent and teacher."
Kevin Padian has been awarded the 2003 Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization for his contributions to the public understanding and appreciation of science.
The Sagan Prize is given annually by Wonderfest, a five-year-old organization of scientists, educators, and journalists that produces major conferences for the general public on controversies and advances in science, to a San Francisco Bay Area researcher who brings scientific discoveries and insights to the attention of the general public.