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The South Carolina board of education voted on January 9, 2008, to add Kenneth R. Miller and Joseph Levine's popular high school textbook Biology, published by Prentice-Hall, to the official list of textbooks approved by the state. "Science teachers from across the state erupted in applause after the vote," the Associated Press (January 9, 2008) reported [Link broken].
A non-partisan coalition is calling for a presidential debate on science and technology. "Given the many urgent scientific and technological challenges facing America and the rest of the world, the increasing need for accurate scientific information in political decision making, and the vital role scientific innovation plays in spurring economic growth and competitiveness," the coalition writes, "we call for a public debate in which the U.S.
The Alliance for Science -- a non-profit organization which seeks "to heighten public understanding and support for science and to preserve the distinctions between science and religion in the public sphere" -- is holding its second annual essay contest. The theme is "Climate, Agriculture, and Evolution." Students are encouraged to submit essays of up to 1000 words on one of two topics: "Climate and Evolution and "Agriculture and Evolution."
Darwinian Anniversary Year, 2009
The year 2009 is a double anniversary: 200 years since Darwin was born (February 12, 1809) and 150 years since the publication of On the Origin of Species (November 24, 1859). To celebrate this anniversary, a special issue of Science & Education will be published.
The Association for Science Education -- a professional association for teachers of science in Britain and around the world, with over 15,000 members -- recently issued a statement (PDF) on science education, "intelligent design," and creationism, reading in part:
it is clear to us that Intelligent Design has no grounds for sharing a platform as a scientific ‘theory’. It has no underpinning scientific principles or explanations to support it.
A special issue of the McGill Journal of Education (vol. 42, no. 2) focusing on evolution education is now freely available on-line. In their preface, the issue's editors, Jason Wiles of McGill University and Anila Asghar of Johns Hopkins University, write:
the teaching and learning of evolution has faced difficulties ranging from pedagogical obstacles to social controversy.
William F. McComas is the winner of the 2007 Evolution Education Award from the National Association of Biology Teachers, according to a press release issued on August 29, 2007, by the American Institute of Biological Sciences. The award, sponsored by AIBS and the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, recognizes innovative classroom teaching and community education efforts to promote the accurate understanding of biological evolution.
A treat in the Science Times section of the June 26, 2007, issue of The New York Times: a suite of articles devoted to evolution. Evolutionary developmental biology is a central theme. Carol Kaesuk Yoon writes, "Just coming into its own as a science, evo-devo is the combined study of evolution and development, the process by which a nubbin of a fertilized egg transforms into a full-fledged adult.
Stanley Miller, a pioneer in scientific research on the origin of life, died on May 20, 2007, at the age of 77, in National City, California. Born in Oakland, California, in 1930, Miller received his bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1951, and his doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1954. As a graduate student at Chicago under the supervision of Harold C.
The Society for College Science Teachers announced the release of its new position statement on the teaching of evolution on April 30, 2007. According to its press release (PDF):