Last month when I ended "Fossil Friday", I promised I would create a new regular feature where we could dish on some issues close to NCSE's heart, such as evolution, climate change, education and, surprise, surprise science denial!
I’ve been thinking about the ethics and benefits of confrontational activist strategies lately. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday remembrance, amid the ongoing protests over police abuses in Ferguson and elsewhere, shaped those thoughts, as does NCSE’s success using non-confrontational approaches, as well as some confrontations that have backfired.
When I was writing not so long ago about the enigmatic figure of the Gentleman with a Duster—whose animadversions on Darwinism in the preface to the American edition of The Glass of Fashion (1921) were invoked by Arthur I. Brown and William Jennings Bryan—I quoted the Gentleman as complaining that Darwinism “justifies Prussianism at the cannon, and Bolshevism at the prison-door.”
Herman Mays is a member of NCSE and a biology professor at Marshall University. He testified at the West Virginia Board of Education meeting last week, speaking against climate change-denying revisions to the state’s science standards. Thanks to outcry from concerned scientists and parents like Mays, the board voted to remove the climate change denial. We asked him to describe what happened at the hearing, and what motivated him to speak out. A longer account of his visit with the state board will appear in a future issue of Reports of the NCSE.