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Nobelists endorse Louisiana repeal effort

Forty-two Nobel-prize-winning scientists have urged the Louisiana legislature to repeal "the misnamed and misguided Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA) of 2008," describing it as creating "a pathway for creationism and other forms of non-scientific instruction to be taught in public school science classrooms." The statement, circulated by Zach Kopplin, the Baton Rouge high school student who is spearheading the effort to repeal Louisiana Revised Statutes 17:285.1, which implemented the LSEA, was released to the press on April 21, 2011, and is available on the Repeal Creationism website.

As NCSE previously reported, Senate Bill 70, prefiled by Karen Carter Peterson (D-District 5), in the Louisiana Senate on April 15, 2011, and provisionally referred to the Senate Committee on Education, would, if enacted, repeal Louisiana Revised Statutes 17:285.1. The legislative session begins on April 25, 2011. A rally in support of SB 70 is scheduled at the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge at 11:00 a.m. on April 28, 2011, and there will be a table with information about the repeal effort in the atrium of the capitol from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the same day, according to the Facebook page for the rally.

Roger Kornberg of the Stanford University School of Medicine, a signatory of the statement who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2006 for his studies of the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription, told the Associated Press (April 21, 2011) that the passage of the LSEA was "a tragedy for the young people of Louisiana and an embarrassment for the entire state and the nation. Shame on the legislature that enacted it, and especially on the governor who signed it into law." A spokesperson for Governor Bobby Jindal told the Associated Press that Jindal opposes any attempts to repeal the law.