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NCSE's Scott honored by AAPA

Eugenie C. ScottEugenie C. Scott

NCSE's executive director Eugenie C. Scott was presented with the Gabriel W. Lasker Service Award by the American Association of Physical Anthropologists at the organization's 81st annual meeting, held April 11 through April 14, 2012, in Portland, Oregon. The award, named after the late Gabriel W. Lasker, was established in 2005 to recognize and honor individuals who have demonstrated a history of excellence in service to the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, its members, and/or the field of physical anthropology.

Scott served the AAPA in a number of capacities, including as its president from 2001 to 2003. But NCSE's Eric Meikle, speaking at the presentation ceremony, observed that her "greatest significance for physical anthropology, and all of evolutionary biology, has been her role as executive director of the National Center for Science Education since 1986. Over the last quarter of a century, she has become the leading national figure defending the teaching of evolution in public schools and opposing attempts to insert any form of creationism into science classes."

"It is no coincidence that so many of NCSE's strongest supporters have been physical anthropologists," Meikle continued. "After all, it is the horror and revulsion provoked by the specter of human evolution which is at the root of all religiously-based opposition to evolution generally. Physical anthropologists are in the front lines of this struggle and are generally more conscious of its serious nature than many other biological scientists." He concluded, "Genie has made dealing with this opposition her day job so that you don't have to. This is our thanks to her."