You are here

Why the Tennessee Academic Freedom Act Matters to YOU

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.
Eugenie C. Scott
Time: 
7:15pm
Date: 
October 27, 2012
Location: 
Sheraton Music City Hotel
777 McGavock Pike
Nashville, Tennessee


In 2012 the Tennessee legislature passed an “Academic Freedom Act” which called for teaching the “strengths and weaknesses” of allegedly controversial subjects such as CSI Nashvilleevolution, global warming, origin of life, and human cloning. Rather than being just an oddity in the state of Tennessee, more than 40 of these laws have cropped up in state legislatures in every region of the country. Because they are patently injurious to science education, citizens need to oppose the passage of these bills – as well as contend for a basic level of science literacy that would make such bills impossible to contemplate.

CSICON Nashville
is sponsored by the
Committee for Skeptical Inquiry

For more information: 

What to do about the Tennessee “Academic Freedom Act”

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.
Eugenie Scott

Time: 
1:00pm
Date: 
October 26, 2012
Location: 
101 Buttrick Hall
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, Tennessee


In the spring of 2012, the Tennessee legislature passed SB 368/SB 893, and Gov. Haslam signed it into law. The bill is one of a series of bills classified as “academic freedom acts”, and purports to provide critical thinking education to students, and Vanderbilt University logoto encourage academic freedom for teachers. In reality, the bills, which call for compromising the teaching of evolution, global warming and other alleged “controversial subjects”, are the descendents of a long line of antievolution approaches. The other approaches (mandating creation science, mandating intelligent design) have failed, but AFA bills have not yet been tested in court. How can scientists, teachers, parents, and other citizens ensure that their children are taught good science, rather than false “weaknesses” of well-accepted scientific ideas?


For more information: 
email Larisa DeSantis at larisa.desantis@gmail.com

Confessions of a Religious Paleontologist

Featuring: 
Robert Asher, Ph.D.
Robert Asher
Time: 
7:30pm
Date: 
October 24, 2012
Location: 
Jannah Restaurant
1775 Fulton Street at Masonic
(Free underground parking across the street)
San Francisco, California


Can a scientist believe in God? Does the ongoing debate between some evolutionists and evangelicals show that the two sides are irreconcilable? As a paleontologist and a religious believer, Robert Asher constantly confronts the perceived conflict betweenBay Area Skeptics logo his occupation and his faith.

Dr. Asher is Curator of Vertebrates in the University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge, England. Over the past two decades, his research has taken him to Argentina, Britain, Canada, Kenya, Madagascar, Mongolia, South Africa, Spain, the United States and Venezuela. He regularly publishes scientific articles in leading journals including PNAS, Science and Nature.

A Bay Area Skeptics' SkepTalk
co-sponsored by NCSE

To enjoy Jannah's Persian cuisine (optional), phone 415.567.4400 to order from their full menu or come early to order from a limited menu.

Politicizing the Classroom: Challenges to Climate Change Education in America's Public Schools

Featuring: 
Mark McCaffrey - NCSE
Catherine Halverson - Lawrence Hall of Science
Wen Lee - Alliance for Climate Education
Maggie Fleming - EarthTeam
Mark McCaffreyCatherine HalversonWen LeeMaggie Fleming
Time: 
7:00pm
Date: 
October 17, 2012
Location: 
Ecology Center
2530 San Pablo Ave (near Dwight Way)
Berkeley, California


Each year, thousands of school aged children in the US are taught "both sides of the climate change controversy," with school boards in over a dozen states having passed policies categorizing climate change along with evolution and human cloning as "controversial science."

There are, however, some bright spots in the fog surrounding climate change education. The Alliance for Climate Education has reached overEcology Center one million students around the country through multimedia presentations famous for exciting students so much that they crowd at the front of the room at the presentation's end. EarthTeam uses peer-to-peer education, student led action projects, and a TV show on environmental issues, The Green Screen.

Join us for a panel discussion with leaders in the field of climate change education. We'll explore the many challenges to climate change education in public schools, and how parents, teachers, students, and other concerned citizens can take action.


For more information: 
Visit the Ecology Center's EcoCalendar

Geology or Genesis Flood: Cast Your Vote

Featuring: 
Steve Newton
Steve Newton
Time: 
12:55pm
Date: 
October 6, 2012
Location: 
Ben Ali Shrine Center
1600 Los Robles Boulevard
Sacramento, California



Vote For Reason
For more information: 

In the Beginning: Science, Origins, and Religion

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.
Eugenie Scott
Time: 
1:15pm
Date: 
September 19, 2012
Location: 
Coulter Science Center Lecture Hall
Westminster College
Fulton, Missouri


The subject of origins – of where we, Earth, and the universe come from – is one that has been considered by many religions since time immemorial. Science, Westminster Symposium logoas a relatively recent actor on the intellectual stage, also considers these topics, coming up with answers at variance with those of most religions, including Christianity. How do these two approaches differ? Are there similarities? And is there an uncrossable divide between the two? The answer is not just philosophically interesting, but directly relevant to decisions being made about what to teach in public school science courses.

A talk in the Westminster Symposium:
RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE IN A GLOBAL SOCIETY
Sponsored by the Churchill Institute

For more information: 

Survey of Pseudoscience

Featuring: 
Glenn Branch, NCSE Deputy Director
& others
Pseudoscience
Time: 
2:00pm to 5:00pm
Date: 
September 9, 2012
Location: 
Room 10
Sierra II Community Center
2791 24th Street
Sacramento, CA
(Click for map)


What is pseudoscience? What are the danger signs? How best to avoid magical thinking? How much doubt is too much doubt? And when should your personal crank-o-meter start red-lining? Panelists will include Shane J. Trimmer, local skeptical activist; Glenn Branch, Deputy Director of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE); Liam McDaid, Sacramento City College astronomy professor; Sarah Strand, CSUS professor of neuroscience; and possibly Bob Carroll, author of the Skeptic's Dictionary, for a light survey of the many swamps and pitfalls to critical thinking.

You've had experiences with cranks, and isn't there a little bit of crank in all of us? But don't let rank crankism happen to you! Come to this meeting, listen, participate, have fun, and be ready to talk about your own adventures in pseudoscience.

Sacramento Skeptics logo

This will be a joint meeting with the Sacramento Area Skeptics.

For more information: 

Solano Stroll

Featuring: 
NCSE Staff

NCSE table

Time: 
10:00am to 6:00pm
Date: 
September 9, 2012
Location: 
Solano Avenue
Look for us across from Cactus Taqueria, near the east end of the Street Fair
Albany, California

Come meet us in person at this fun family street fair -- music, food, entertainment, crafts, and a parade!

Hominin Skulls

We will have hominin fossils and real live hominins. Also, this is your chance to support NCSE with a purchase of a t-shirt, book, or bumpersticker. And if you have questions, we have resources.

For more information: 

The Evolution-Creation Wars: A Discussion and Update

Featuring: 
Josh Rosenau and Eugenie Scott
Josh RosenauEugenie Scott
Time: 
5:30pm
Date: 
September 2, 2012
Location: 
Dragon*Con
Atlanta Downtown Hilton
255 Courtland Street Northeast
Atlanta, Georgia

Evolution is one of the core ideas in science, but almost half the population rejects evolution. Why? How do we promote good science education?

A panel for the
Science Track
at the pop culture conference
Dragon*Con

Dragon Con logo

For more information: 

Deja Vu All Over Again: Denialism of Climate Change and of Evolution

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.
Eugenie Scott
Time: 
8:30pm
Date: 
September 2, 2012
Location: 
Dragon*Con
Atlanta Downtown Hilton
255 Courtland Street Northeast
Atlanta, Georgia

Both evolution and global warming are “controversial issues” in education, but are not controversial in the world of science. There is remarkable similarity in the techniques thatDragon-Con.jpg are used by both camps to promote their views. The scientific issues are presented as “not being settled”, or that there is considerable debate among scientists over the validity of claims. Denialists in both camps practice “anomaly mongering”, in which a small detail seemingly incompatible with either evolution or global warming is held up as dispositive of either evolution or of climate science. Although in both cases, reputable, established science is under attack for ideological reasons, the underlying ideology differs: for denying evolution, the ideology of course is religious; for denying global warming, the ideology is political and/or economic.

A presentation for the
Skepticism Track
at the popular cultural conference
Dragon*Con

For more information: 

Pages