NCSE's Scott profiled in The New York Times


Eugenie C. ScottEugenie C. Scott

NCSE's executive director Eugenie C. Scott was profiled in the September 3, 2013, issue of The New York Times. Scott, the Times reported, "is nearing the end of a 27-year stint as executive director of the National Center for Science Education, which despite a relatively skimpy budget has had an outsize impact on the battles in courtrooms and classrooms over whether creationism — the idea that the universe was devised as it is by a supernatural agent — or its ideological cousin, 'intelligent design,' should be taught in public schools."

Kenneth R. Miller, a professor of cell biology at Brown University and coauthor of a widely used high school biology textbook, told the Times, "There is no single organization in the United States that has been as important in the battle over evolution as the National Center for Science Education,” and Ralph J. Cicerone, the president of the National Academy of Sciences, was quoted as saying, "Eugenie Scott has worked tirelessly and very effectively to improve the teaching of both the nature of science and the science of evolution."

Beyond its participation in such high-profile incidents as the 2005 trial in Kitzmiller v. Dover, in which teaching "intelligent design" creationism in the public schools was found to be unconstitutional, Scott explained, NCSE is constantly active aiding activists at the grassroots level. “Working with local groups, we have stopped a lot of really bad resolutions and policies at the state level,” she said. She emphasized that a diversity of approaches is needed to resolve such problems: "You do not solve the creation-evolution issue just by throwing science at it."

Scott told the Times that when she retires, by the end of the year, she plans to write a memoir and help NCSE to organize its records, which the newspaper described as "possibly the most complete archive of the evolution wars in the United States," adding, "Already, scholars have been delving into the files. Often they are people from other countries struggling to understand why a scientific theory that goes virtually unchallenged in every other developed country causes such uproar in the United States." Scott commented, “It is going to be fun for me, digging through this."

The profile was part of a special issue of the Times's Science Times devoted to science and math education. Also included was a story with the headline "Young Students Against Bad Science," in which two of the three students were fighting against efforts to undermine the teaching of evolution or of climate change: Zack Kopplin, who is working toward a repeal of the so-called Louisiana Science Education Act, and Esha Marwaha, who successfully petitioned against a plan to remove climate change from the 11-to-14 geography curriculum in the United Kingdom.