The path of some scientists is to do science. The path of other scientists is to help inspire people to see the beauty in science. I realized through working with the National Center for Science Education’s Science Booster Club that I am meant to be part of the latter group. And now I am.

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Charles DarwinIn early August 2016, NCSE reported on the results of the latest of the National Surveys on Energy and Environment. Respondents were asked questions such as, “Is there solid evidence that the average temperature on earth has been getting warmer over the past four decades?” (66% said yes: not so bad) and “Is the earth getting warmer because of human activity such as burning fossil fuels, or mostly because of natural patterns in the earth’s environment?” (46% of those who said yes to the previous question chose human activity: not so good). Interestingly, though, the researchers also asked, “What is the primary factor that has caused you to believe that temperatures on earth are increasing?” and “What is the primary factor that makes you believe that temperatures on earth are not increasing?” (all quoted from the questionnaire [PDF], questions 7, 9, 10, and 20).

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09.12.2016

“You can’t do outreach on evolution and climate change here. Those topics are too hot to handle.” That’s what I heard over and over again when I started organizing a Science Booster Club in Iowa City last year. My goal—to provide a way for communities to promote science education and support their local science teachers—seemed uncontroversial.

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09.09.2016

The NCSE blog launched just over three years ago, on August 19, 2013. Since then, there have been 1,210 posts, or just about exactly one per day.

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In part 1, I relayed a story of the common carp. Long ago, the carp was domesticated by monks to have fewer, patchy scales, making the fish easier to prepare and eat.

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