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How to Teach Evolution Better

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.


Time: 
4:00pm
Date: 
September 8, 2009
Location: 
105 Jordan Hall
University of Notre Dame




Evolution sometimes is not taught at all at the pre-college level, and when it is taught, it is not always presented accurately. Often, misconceptions of evolution are taught, such as natural selection resulting in perfection of adaptation, or fish evolving into amphibians evolving into reptiles evolving into mammals. Scott argues that if evolution were better taught at the college level, high school teachers (and the general public) will better understand evolution, and do a better job of teaching it to their own students. Common misconceptions will be discussed, and an argument for clearly teaching the “big ideas” of evolution – especially to undergraduates – will be supported.

Sponsored by the
Biology Graduate Student Organization


For more information: 
Contact: Peter Levi

Darwin's Bulldogs: Teachers on the Front Line [panel]

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.

Time: 
12:00am
Date: 
September 6, 2009
Location: 
Dragon*Con
Room 205-207 Hilton Atlanta
255 Courtland Street, NE
Atlanta, Georgia



NCSE’s Eugenie C. Scott and Joshua Rosenau will attend Dragon*Con, the largest science fiction, fantasy, and popular culture conference in the country. Staff will participate in both the Skeptic and Science Tracks, and have a table in the exhibit area. During the panel “Darwin’s Bulldogs” educators will talk about pseudo-science in the classroom, declining science standards nationwide, and the critical importance of reversing those trends.

For more information: 

Is Intelligent Design Scientific?

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.


Time: 
1:30am
Date: 
September 6, 2009
Location: 
Dragon*Con
Room 205-207 Hilton Atlanta
255 Courtland Street, NE
Atlanta, Georgia



NCSE’s Eugenie C. Scott and Joshua Rosenau will attend Dragon*Con, the largest science fiction, fantasy, and popular culture conference in the country. Staff will participate in both the Skeptic and Science Tracks, and have a table in the exhibit area. In her lecture “Is Intelligent Design Scientific?”, Dr. Scott will contend that proponents of Intelligent Design argue for its scientifically validity, but virtually all scientists consider it unscientific or even a pseudoscience. Whether ID is scientific largely depends on one's definition of science. Among the definitions of science used by scientists, broader definitions might include ID, but even if ID is marginal science, are its empirical claims valid? Testimony presented in a court of law as well as that of science says "no."

For more information: 

Darwin's Bulldogs: Teachers on the Front Line [panel]

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.

Time: 
4:00pm
Date: 
September 6, 2009
Location: 
Dragon*Con
Room 205-207 Hilton Atlanta
255 Courtland Street, NE
Atlanta, Georgia



NCSE’s Eugenie C. Scott and Joshua Rosenau will attend Dragon*Con, the largest science fiction, fantasy, and popular culture conference in the country. Staff will participate in both the Skeptic and Science Tracks, and have a table in the exhibit area. During the panel “Darwin’s Bulldogs” educators will talk about pseudo-science in the classroom, declining science standards nationwide, and the critical importance of reversing those trends.

For more information: 

Is Intelligent Design Scientific?

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.


Time: 
5:30pm
Date: 
September 6, 2009
Location: 
Dragon*Con
Room 205-207 Hilton Atlanta
255 Courtland Street, NE
Atlanta, Georgia



NCSE’s Eugenie C. Scott and Joshua Rosenau will attend Dragon*Con, the largest science fiction, fantasy, and popular culture conference in the country. Staff will participate in both the Skeptic and Science Tracks, and have a table in the exhibit area. In her lecture “Is Intelligent Design Scientific?”, Dr. Scott will contend that proponents of Intelligent Design argue for its scientifically validity, but virtually all scientists consider it unscientific or even a pseudoscience. Whether ID is scientific largely depends on one's definition of science. Among the definitions of science used by scientists, broader definitions might include ID, but even if ID is marginal science, are its empirical claims valid? Testimony presented in a court of law as well as that of science says "no."

For more information: 

Constructive Debates When Science and Politics Mix

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.


Time: 
9:30pm
Date: 
August 17, 2009
Location: 
Pacific AAAS Annual Meeting
Hensill Hall, Room 113
San Francisco State University


A presentation for the symposium, Good Science is Only Part of the Job: Communicating Science to the Public

Science is a product of human beings, which means it is affected by human institutions – including politics. The education system in the United States is highly politicized as a result of the nation’s history, and because the teaching of evolution is socially (if not scientifically) controversial, politics enters into whether and how evolution will be taught. Scientists working to improve the teaching of evolution need to keep in mind that science per se is necessary but not sufficient to succeed. One must also keep in mind the various stakeholders in the controversy, their needs and goals, and where compromise is and is not possible.

For more information: 

Constructive Debates When Science and Politics Mix

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.


Time: 
1:30pm
Date: 
August 17, 2009
Location: 
Pacific AAAS Annual Meeting
Hensill Hall, Room 113
San Francisco State University


A presentation for the symposium, Good Science is Only Part of the Job: Communicating Science to the Public

Science is a product of human beings, which means it is affected by human institutions – including politics. The education system in the United States is highly politicized as a result of the nation’s history, and because the teaching of evolution is socially (if not scientifically) controversial, politics enters into whether and how evolution will be taught. Scientists working to improve the teaching of evolution need to keep in mind that science per se is necessary but not sufficient to succeed. One must also keep in mind the various stakeholders in the controversy, their needs and goals, and where compromise is and is not possible.

For more information: 

Science Denial and Science Policy at Netroots Nation

Featuring: 
Joshua Rosenau, Bryan Rehm, Susan Wood, Michael Stebbins, and Mark Sumner
Time: 
10:00pm
Date: 
August 14, 2009
Location: 

Netroots Nation
David L. Lawrence Convention Center
Pittsburgh, PA

NCSE's Josh Rosenau organizes a session at Netroots Nation, a major gathering of online political activists and policymakers.

The session's abstract reads:

Science is increasingly vital to policymaking, but denial of basic aspects of science is increasingly well-organized, holding back science-based policies. Whether it's creationism attacking state and local education policy, global warming denial distracting attention from the need for effective solutions, or anti-vaccine activism undermining vital public health programs, the public's misunderstanding about science have dire consequences for society. Non-scientists and scientists alike are joining to defend science and to clear the ground for science-based policies. This panel of scientists and scientific policymakers will discuss ways that the general public can ensure that their government is informed by honest science.

Other panelists: Bryan Rehm, a plaintiff from the Dover intelligent design trial, a parent and teacher who is now president of the Dover Area School District's board; Susan Wood, the former director of Office of Women's Health at the FDA who resigned to protest the delayed approval of emergency contraception for women, now a professor at Georgetown University; Michael Stebbins, co-founder of Scientists and Engineers for America and currently Assistant Director for Biotechnology in the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy; moderator Mark Sumner, a widely published author, as well as a trained geologist, featured author in DailyKos's "Science Friday" feature under the pseudonym Devilstower.

For more information: 
Website: Session info
Contact: email Josh Rosenau
Attendance limited to people registered for Netroots Nation. The conference runs from August 13-16.

Why Evolution "Makes Sense" of the Human Skeleton

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.


Time: 
7:00pm
Date: 
August 14, 2009
Location: 
Valley Life Sciences Building
Room 2063 VLSB
University of California at Berkeley


When Dobzhansky said "nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution" he was saying that evolution tells us why things in biology are like they are, rather than some other way. The human skeleton is a good example of Dobzhansky's maxim: we are built like we are because humans are primates, mammals, vertebrates, and bilaterians. Teaching the skeleton from an evolutionary perspective "makes sense" to students, too, and gives them a framework that helps them to learn.

A talk in the UCMP/NCSE sponsored symposium for teachers,
"Think Evolution"

For more information: 

Science Denial and Science Policy at Netroots Nation

Featuring: 
Joshua Rosenau, Bryan Rehm, Susan Wood, Michael Stebbins, and Mark Sumner
Time: 
2:00pm to 3:15pm
Date: 
August 14, 2009
Location: 

Netroots Nation
David L. Lawrence Convention Center
Pittsburgh, PA

NCSE's Josh Rosenau organizes a session at Netroots Nation, a major gathering of online political activists and policymakers.

The session's abstract reads:

Science is increasingly vital to policymaking, but denial of basic aspects of science is increasingly well-organized, holding back science-based policies. Whether it's creationism attacking state and local education policy, global warming denial distracting attention from the need for effective solutions, or anti-vaccine activism undermining vital public health programs, the public's misunderstanding about science have dire consequences for society. Non-scientists and scientists alike are joining to defend science and to clear the ground for science-based policies. This panel of scientists and scientific policymakers will discuss ways that the general public can ensure that their government is informed by honest science.

Other panelists: Bryan Rehm, a plaintiff from the Dover intelligent design trial, a parent and teacher who is now president of the Dover Area School District's board; Susan Wood, the former director of Office of Women's Health at the FDA who resigned to protest the delayed approval of emergency contraception for women, now a professor at Georgetown University; Michael Stebbins, co-founder of Scientists and Engineers for America and currently Assistant Director for Biotechnology in the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy; moderator Mark Sumner, a widely published author, as well as a trained geologist, featured author in DailyKos's "Science Friday" feature under the pseudonym Devilstower.

For more information: 
Website: Session info
Contact: email Josh Rosenau
Attendance limited to people registered for Netroots Nation. The conference runs from August 13-16.

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