Our Mission

NCSE promotes and defends accurate and effective science education, because everyone deserves to engage with the evidence.

Since 1981, the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) has worked to ensure that what is taught in science classrooms and beyond is accurate and consistent with the best current understanding of the scientific community.

NCSE recognizes that well-established areas of science that are culturally controversial, in particular climate change and evolution, are challenging to teach. Many teachers avoid or water down their coverage of these topics out of fear of conflict. NCSE helps train teachers and community volunteers in approaches that have been proven to reduce conflict and help learners overcome even deeply held misconceptions about evolution and climate change. NCSE also helps local communities block legislation and other efforts that would result in the miseducation of students on these critical topics. For details, see "What We Do."

Who We Are

Staff | Board of Directors | Advisory Council | Supporting Organizations 

Major Milestones

  • NCSE forms in 1981 with the purpose of serving as a national coordinating center for local grassroots pro-science organizations working to prevent creationism from being taught alongside or instead of evolution.
  • NCSE is a driving force for the plaintiffs in the landmark 2005 case Kitzmiller v. Dover, which established the unconstitutionality of teaching “intelligent design” in public schools.
  • NCSE adds climate change to its mission in 2012 after it becomes clear that politicization of the topic is affecting how it is being taught.
  • NCSE, with researchers from Penn State University, conducts the first nationwide survey of climate change education in public schools in 2014–2015, which shows only 30% of science teachers provide their students with the scientific consensus on the human causes of recent climate change.
  • NCSE launches NCSEteach, its teacher support program in 2014 with a monthly newsletter that reaches more than 6,000 educators. In 2017, NCSE adds the Teacher Ambassador Program, a capacity-building model to support the teaching of evolution and climate change. 
  • NCSE pilots the first Science Booster Club in Iowa City, Iowa, in 2015. Science Booster Clubs provide accessible and fun evolution and climate change activities in local communities, and help rally local support for local science education. By 2018, the program expands to fourteen clubs in eleven states.

Financial Information

NCSE is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization, EIN 11-2656357. NCSE’s audited financial statements and 990 Forms are available at Guidestar. NCSE is ranked Platinum by Guidestar for its commitment to transparency.

Annual Report

View NCSE's annual report for 2017 here.





Support and Affiliations

We are generously supported by donations from our members and grants from private foundations, such as the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Wallace Global Fund. NCSE is affiliated with the American Association for the Advancement of Science and associated with the National Science Teachers Association.