NCSE Past Events
San José, California
- Joshua Rosenau, NCSE
- Robert Proctor, Stanford
- Michael Mann, Pennsylvania State University
- Elizabeth Nash, Guttmacher Institute
- Robyn Thomas, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
Attempts to suppress and obscure science are increasingly common features of many public policy battles, especially around tobacco, evolution, climate change, guns, and abortion. Eighty-five years after the Scopes Monkey Trial, Tennessee just passed another law attacking evolution education—and lumped in climate change and stem cell research to boot. Other legislators have forced doctors to tell patients falsehoods about their pregnancies and abortion and compelled teachers to mislead students about sex and sexuality. At the NRA’s behest, federal funds for gun violence research were eliminated, and basic data on gun violence cannot be gathered. Meanwhile, Big Tobacco and fossil fuel producers are the most prominent - but hardly the only - industries which have conspired to obscure research and attack researchers who reveal their products’ dangers. We’ll learn more about how science is being hidden and attacked, and how we can fight back.
Perhaps because of its existential implications, the science of evolution has been particularly fraught with accusations of fraud and misbehavior. Far more people have heard about the famous Piltdown Man hoax than, say, the Midwife Toad hoax. We have no evidence that paleoanthropologists are any more likely to play games with the truth than herpetologists – although they certainly get more publicity! But there is a difference between actual fraud in a science and accusations of fraud, and certainly for evolutionary science, creationist accusations overwhelm reality. In this presentation I will talk about actual scientific fraud, such as Piltdown and “Archaeoraptor”, and also erroneous claims of fraud made by creationists, such as the peppered moth “fraud.”
3400 Lower Golden Rain Rd.
Walnut Creek, California
SF Bay Area Atheists, Agnostics, Freethinkers & Skeptics
3105 Shattuck Avenue
Bring your inner sixth grader to a meeting of the Bay Area Skeptics! Good teachers have used claims of the paranormal to teach scientific reasoning to elementary and middle school students. Join Bay Area Skeptics as Dr. Scott guides you in formulating experiments to test paranormal claims. Audience participation required! (No actual sixth graders will be harmed in this demonstration.)
sponsored by the
Bay Area Skeptics
400 New Jersey Avenue NW
Anti-science legislation is sweeping the nation. Bills that aim to insert so-called “Intelligent Design” theology into public school curricula have been proposed in more than a dozen states. Particularly dangerous, these bills attempt to undermine scientific research by creating a false sense of controversy around accepted scientific theories such as evolution by natural selection. And the push against science doesn’t stop at evolution—it also affects areas such as sex education. Taxpayers are footing the bill for religious indoctrination not only through public schools, but via voucher programs and tuition tax credits. What can be done to protect science education in our schools at the federal level? What can concerned citizens do within the states? And what’s the best way to halt the continued public funding of religion and stop anti-science legislation?
Secular Coalition for America
Berkeley Main Library
2090 Kittredge Street
Dr. Berbeco will present on the topic of climate change denial, attempts to undermine the science in public schools and the challenges ahead. She will address the recent legislative session which saw 8 bills introduced since January across the country to undermine science education, as well as current bills that are already in place. In addition, she will discuss popular science denial curriculum that is being disseminated to schools and how it undermines quality education. Last, she will talk about what citizens, parents, teachers and administrators can do to support quality science education.
East Bay Atheists
1044 Middlefield Road
Redwood City, California
Though the scientific consensus around climate change is clear, the public remains skeptical making it challenging for educators to teach well-established, peer-reviewed science to their students. Worse yet, “Academic Freedom” Bills are being introduced on the state-level to undermine quality science education under the guise of “critical thinking”. Find out more about the state of science denial in our country, how legislation is attempting to undermine science education and what you can do to help support stronger science education in the U.S.
Loma Prieta Chapter of the Sierra Club
3543 18th (at Valencia)
San Francisco, California
Following their victory in the Scopes Trial, creationists have suffered a string of unequivocal court defeats -- the Epperson v. Arkansas case, which overturned bans on teaching evolution, the Edwards v. Aguillard case, which ruled out 'equal time for creationism' requirements, and the Kitzmiller v. Dover case, which ruled "intelligent design" to be just another form of creationism. Creationists have responded to these setbacks by intelligently crafting a new strategy: encouraging sympathetic state legislators to introduce anti-evolution legislation under the pretense of 'academic freedom.' Such bills twist the meaning of academic freedom to give legal cover for creationist teachers to use their public school classrooms as a personal pulpit from which to proselytize to a captive audience of students. Newton will show the origins of such bills, how they are distributed to legislators by creationist organizations, and explain why the carefully-crafted language in 'academic freedom' bills says one thing, but means quite another. Newton will outline ways for local pro-science organizations to resist this trend and keep public school classrooms free from creationist attacks on science.
Atheist Advocates of San Francisco
Stephen F. Austin State University
What is the status of evolution in American education today? Is there, as so many people think, really a controversy surrounding this subject? And if there is, what exactly is the actual topic of that controversy? What is the history of public opposition to evolution education in America? What form does current anti-evolution activity take, and what can we expect in the future?
School of Honors Wisely Speaker series