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Online trainings for science education advocates and activists

Taking Action icon, by Paula Spence for NCSE, 2012 NCSE conducts monthly webinars (interactive online trainings), and archives those trainings for later viewing. These trainings will cover a range of topics, from media skills, lobbying, and advocacy using social media, to skills for building a local or statewide group of "citizens for science" and for recruiting new members and moving them into leadership positions.

How to respond to attacks on science education

Webinar conducted November 25, 2013.

Description: What can citizens like you do to respond when science education comes under attack? How can you and other concerned citizens organize to fight back? What can you do to prevent attacks on science education in your community? 

Wanted: Biologists curious about student learning

The Education Department of the American Society for Microbiology is currently soliciting participants for its Biology Scholars Program Research Residency — a year-long virtual residency geared toward helping undergraduate biology faculty understand and apply evidence-based research in biology education.

Lights! Camera! Evolve!

The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) is expanding its online video presence with its new YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/NatCen4ScienceEd.

Here you'll find reports from the evolution/creationism wars—footage of contentious testimony, landmark and illuminating speeches, conference coverage, excerpts from television appearances, and presentations. In the future, look for classroom videos, tutorials for teachers, videos contributed by NCSE members, and much more.

When you visit our YouTube channel, check out a couple of key areas. At top right you'll see the latest, hot video. (In this case, executive director Dr. Genie Scott explaining evolution to the Texas Board of Education.) Below this video window you'll see the Playlist area. We've broken down our initial offerings into different categories—Genie Scott's testimony before the Texas Board of Education; the board's chairman, Don McLeroy, expounding on why evolution is false; and some light-hearted coverage of our recent Project Steve celebration.

Please explore the site, tell us what you like (and don't), and suggest improvements and changes. Send your comments to Robert Luhn at luhn@ncseweb.org.

Creationism and the Law

Legal challenges to anti-evolution policies began with the Scopes Trial of 1925, a case the evolution advocates actually lost.

Since 1968, however, U.S. courts have consistently held that "creationism" is a particular religious viewpoint and that teaching it in public schools would violate the First Amendment of the Constitution.

For a one page summary of important court cases, see Ten Major Court Cases about Creationism and Evolution.

Recommended Books about Creationism and Evolution

(Book titles are linked to Amazon.)

Alters, Brian J. and Sandra Alters
Defending Evolution: A guide to the creation/evolution controversy
Sudbury, Mass: Jones & Bartlett Pub (2001)

Opting Out - Not!

Dear NCSE: I teach 9th grade biology and the principal informed me that in response to the request of a parent, a student in my class has been given permission to opt out of the evolution section.

Definitions of Fact, Theory, and Law in Scientific Work

Science uses specialized terms that have different meanings than everyday usage. These definitions correspond to the way scientists typically use these terms in the context of their work. Note, especially, that the meaning of “theory” in science is different than the meaning of “theory” in everyday conversation.

Paleontologists decry Louisiana's antievolution law


In a September 4, 2008, press release, the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology urged Louisiana citizens and legislators to repeal the recently enacted "Science Education Act" in their state, writing, "The Act was drafted under the guise of 'academic freedom'

"Eroding Evolution" in Louisiana


"Eroding Evolution," a new article in the July/August 2008 issue of Church and State, addresses the recently enacted "Science Education Act" in Louisiana, which threatens to open the door for creationism and scientifically unwarranted critiques of evolution to be taught in public school science classes.

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