Nature issues a rallying call to scientists


Nature logo

The editorial in the March 8, 2017, issue of the prestigious scientific journal Nature calls on researchers to defend the integrity of science education — and cites NCSE.

Alluding to Iowa's House File 480, which would have required teachers in the state's public schools to include "opposing points of view or beliefs" to accompany any instruction relating to evolution, the origins of life, global warming, or human cloning, the editorial continues, "It's the latest in a surge of what advocacy group the National Center for Science Education calls 'antiscience' bills introduced in US state houses in recent weeks."

"Although these proposed changes are typically presented by their supporters as giving teachers the chance to discuss genuine scientific controversies, in truth they are (very) thinly veiled attempts to pursue political and religious agendas that have no place in school science lessons — for whatever age," the editorial observes, adding, "[C]hildren ... deserve much better from those elected to serve them."

The editorial offers advice to concerned scientists: "join the voices and campaigns that seek to protect educational standards, speak out against damaging changes and support others who are already doing so, including those in the education system. Get involved: visit schools, meet teachers and assist people who want to continue to offer kids the best possible education by helping to prepare materials and lesson plans."

NCSE's executive director Ann Reid commented, "Kudos to Nature for its rallying call to scientists. And a great way to pitch in, of course, is to support NCSE!"