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Why do people reject good science?

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott

Eugenie C. Scott

Time: 
5:15pm
Date: 
August 3, 2015
Location: 

Gold/Small Room
Commonwealth Club of California
555 Post St.
San Francisco CA 94102

 

Scientists are often puzzled when members of the public reject what we consider to be well-founded explanations. They can’t understand why the presentation of scientific data and theory doesn’t suffice to convince others of the validity of “controversial” topics like evolution and climate change. Recent research highlights the importance of ideology in shaping what scientific conclusions are considered reliable and acceptable. This research is quite relevant to the evolution wars and the public’s opposition to climate change, and to other questions of the rejection of empirical evidence.

Tickets are $20, $7.00 for students, free to members of the Commonwealth Club.

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Defending Science Against Denial: the Challenges of Teaching Evolution & Climate Change in a Hostile Age

Featuring: 
Steven Newton

Steven Newton

Time: 
1:30pm
Date: 
July 19, 2015
Location: 

Public Meeting Room, Third Floor
Berkeley Public Library, Main Branch
2090 Kittredge
Berkeley CA 94704

 

A talk for East Bay Atheists. Why do 40% of the American public think dinosaurs and humans lived together? Why is the Senate's main committee on the environment headed by someone who thinks climate change is a "hoax"? Steven Newton, a professor of geology at College of Marin, and a programs and policy director at the National Center for Science Education, explores these issues and more in a talk that examines why in an age where science and technology are so critical to our lives and the economy, so many citizens flee from scientific thought, embracing instead half-baked conjectures long discarded by the scientific community. Newton will outline the scope of the problem, explain the urgency for improved scientific literacy, and offer solutions to increase the public understanding of science.

 

 

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What if “Intelligent Design” Had Won? Reflecting on 10 Years Since Kitzmiller v. Dover

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott

Eugenie C. Scott

Time: 
4:00pm
Date: 
July 18, 2015
Location: 

Tropicana Las Vegas
3801 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas NV 89109

 

What if the judge in Kitzmiller had ruled that “intelligent design” was legal to teach? Very little would change in the science community—“intelligent design” repeatedly has been shown to lack scientific merit. But the politicization of education and science would have increased exponentially. What are the legal, political, scientific, and educational implications of the trial and its aftermath?

The Amaz!ng Meeting 13

A talk for The Amaz!ng Meeting (TAM) sponsored by the James Randi Educational Foundation. Basic registration is $499; a single-day pass is $299. See the meeting's website for further pricing information.

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Visit the Grand Canyon with NCSE!

Featuring: 
NCSE's Steven Newton and Joshua Rosenau
Date: 
July 2, 2015 to July 10, 2015
Location: 

Grand Canyon, Arizona


Twenty-two lucky members will raft the Grand Canyon from Marble Canyon to Diamond Creek, experiencing one of the most beautiful and majestic natural features on the planet.

Of course, as NCSE's Josh Rosenau will inform the rafters, the whole Colorado plateau was laid down by the receding waters of Noah's Flood about 4,327 years ago, and the Grand Canyon itself was gouged catastrophically in a matter of days. Geologist Steven Newton will present the standard geological history of Grand Canyon to the rafters — and "they can make up their own minds."

NCSE's "Creation/Evolution Grand Canyon Raft Trip" is a wonderful way to learn about the creationism/evolution controversy in a fabulous natural setting.

 
For more information: 

Click here for more information or e-mail NCSE.

The Science Denial Playbook: What Evolution, Climate Change, Vaccine Safety and Tobacco Risks All Have in Common

Featuring: 
Ann Reid, NCSE's Executive Director

Ann Reid

Time: 
12:15pm
Date: 
June 15, 2015
Location: 

Thornton Hall 329
San Francisco State University
San Francisco CA 94132

AAAS Pacific Division logo

The talk is free and open to the public; note that a registration fee is required to attend scientific sessions, field trips, etc. at the meeting.

Crank Anthropology

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.

Eugenie C. Scott

Time: 
10:00am
Date: 
June 13, 2015
Location: 

Buffalo Marriott Niagara
1340 Millersport Highway
Amherst NY 14221

 

A talk for the Center for Inquiry international conference, Reason for Change.

Anthropology, the science of humankind, deals with evolution, human biology, and archaeology, all in the context of the behavioral complexities of culture. Perhaps this breadth – and the fact that the subject is ourselves – is why there is such a huge amount of misinformation, misunderstanding, and just plain pseudoscience about human evolution and human nature. Anthropology is cursed with the Aquatic Ape theory, the Paleo Diet, Raelianism (of various kinds), theories of relict hominoids, the Killer Ape, Krishna Creationism, some very far out ideas about race and sex – and that’s just for starters. Being human, however, does not make one an expert on anthropology. What does the actual science of anthropology say about these popular, if incorrect, ideas?

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Climate Change Panel

Featuring: 
Josh Rosenau

Josh Rosenau

Time: 
3:40pm to 5:00pm
Date: 
June 13, 2015
Location: 

Buffalo Marriott Niagara
1340 Millersport Highway
Amherst NY 14221

NCSE's Josh Rosenau, along with Mark Boslough, Scott Mandia, and Jan Dash, will participate in a discussion of climate change at the Center for Inquiry international conference, Reason for Change.

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OMG Virus! Flu, Ebola, Measles, and When You Really Should Be Afraid

Featuring: 
Ann Reid, NCSE's Executive Director

Ann Reid

Date: 
June 6, 2015
Location: 

Oakland Asian Cultural Center
388 9th Street #290
Oakland CA 94607

Ebola, influenza, bird flu, SARS, HIV, West Nile, Hantavirus, measles––one could go on. Each of these viruses has, at one time or another (or in some cases repeatedly), been the subject of breathless front-page scare headlines. Fear, after all, grabs our attention. And fear, when it comes to viruses, can be a highly appropriate response. But our fears are often disproportionate to the actual degree of risk. Furthermore, because fear is a highly effective tool for manipulation, emphasizing––or sometimes exaggerating––risks plays a big part in public communications about viruses. So what’s a layman to do? When is it appropriate to be afraid, and what kinds of precautions are reasonable? Three case studies will illustrate the complicated ways that fear can get in the way of a clear-eyed view of how much risk a virus poses, and what a reasonable person should do about it. First, the 1918 influenza virus killed between 20 and 50 million people worldwide. What made it so lethal, and are warnings that bird flu could cause a similar outbreak justified? Second, how concerned should we be about Ebola, and what is an appropriate response? And finally, how has fear of vaccination superseded fear of the diseases it prevents?

SkeptiCal 2015 logo

A plenary address at SkeptiCal 2015. Tickets (to the whole day's events) start at $40.00.

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Evolution for Future Teachers

Featuring: 
Josh Rosenau

Josh Rosenau

Time: 
4:40pm to 7:50pm
Date: 
May 18, 2015
Location: 

Art and Education Building room 385
California State University, East Bay
25800 Carlos Bee Blvd.
Hayward, CA 94542

California State University, East Bay logoNCSE's Josh Rosenau will present a guest lecture for science teacher credential candidates in Dr. David Stronck's class. He will discuss NCSE's work, challenges to teaching evolution, and how teachers can present evolution effectively in schools.

For more information: 

Contact Dr. Stronck.

90 Years of Fighting Creationism: From the Science League of America to NCSE

Featuring: 
Josh Rosenau

Josh Rosenau

Time: 
3:00pm
Date: 
May 3, 2015
Location: 

Audre Lorde Room (Second Floor)
Women's Building
3543 18th (at Valencia) 
San Francisco CA 94110 

“It is a truism that there can be no real solution of the problem of man’s origin, development and destiny without freedom in research and in teaching.” Those bold words opened the preamble to the bylaws of the Science League of America, founded in San Francisco in 1925. Under the leadership of the polymathic Shipley, they fought the anti-evolution crusade launched by William Jennings Bryan, who famously prosecuted John Scopes for teaching evolution in Tennessee. From his home in Sausalito, Shipley organized scientists and teachers, planned debates with creationists, and wrote extensively about the importance of evolution. 90 years later, the National Center for Science Education does remarkably similar work, fighting almost the same battles, from our offices in Oakland. We will discuss today’s ideological attacks on science education, the long history of pro-science activism here in the Bay Area, and how to carry on the long battle against creationism.

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