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June 19, 2003, is the 16th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in Edwards v. Aguillard, which ruled that it is unconstitutional to require the teaching of "creation science" in the public schools.
Even before the committee that will draft Minnesota’s new science standards has been assembled, creationism has already become news.
WCCO Channel 4 News in the Twin Cities has posted a story on its web site about the drafting of new standards, which mentions the potential upcoming controversy over the science standards.
The complete story can be found here. [Link has expired]
Three valued supporters of NCSE recently were honored.
Brian J. Alters, the director of the Evolution Education Research Centre at McGill University, received the Faculty of Education Award for Distinguished Teaching from McGill University at its spring convocation on June 3.
On June 5 the South Carolina General Assembly adjourned its current session. Among the proposed bills killed by this action was S153, which had passed the Senate and was waiting for action in a House committee. As outlined in another story on this page, this bill would have established a 19-member "Science Standards Committee" to "(1) study science standards regarding the teaching of the origin of species; (2) determine whether there is a consensus on the definition of science; (3) determine whether alternatives to evolution as the origin of species should be offered in schools. "
The Texas Legislature adjourned on June 2, 2003. Two proposed bills with potential relevance for evolution education, HB 1172 and HB 1447, died at adjournment. Both bills were related to textbook adoption procedures and the state Board of Education. Either could have made it easier for pressure groups opposing evolution to have more influence in Texas, one of the largest textbook markets in the country. See previous items about these bills on this page for more details.
NCSE Supporter Dorothy Nelkin, who as a University Professor at New York University taught in the Department of Sociology and the School of Law, died on May 28, 2003.
As a sociologist of science, Nelkin specialized in studying the often vexed relationship between science and society.
NCSE executive director Dr. Eugenie C. Scott will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree from one of Canada's premier institutions of higher learning, McGill University. The ceremony will take place on June 3, 2003, in Montreal, Canada.
SB1125 was introduced in the state Senate on April 29 and referred to the Committee on Senate and Governmental Affairs. This bill is very similar to HB1782 which was tabled in the House of Representatives on April 30. The Senate committee has taken no action to date on SB1125.
M. Patricia Morse is the 2003 recipient of the Education Award from the American Institute of Biological Sciences. The award is presented annually to individuals and groups who have made significant contributions to education in the biological sciences. Morse, a marine biologist and science educator at the University of Washington, is a lifetime member of NCSE. Congratulations from all of us at NCSE!
On May 10 the Texas House of Representatives passed HB 1172 and forwarded it to the Senate. This bill would restore the State Board of Education's (SBOE) authority to reject textbooks for any reason, a power which has been restricted in recent years by other legislation. Previously Texas had been the scene of spirited creationist attacks on evolution during its textbook adoption process. Because of the size of its educational system Texas exerts considerable influence over publishers and the national textbook marketplace.