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Gold A.U.,University of Colorado at Boulder | Ledley T.S.,TERC | Buhr S.M.,University of Colorado at Boulder | Fox S.,Carleton College | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Geoscience Education | Year: 2012

Educators seek to develop 21st century skills in the classroom by incorporating educational materials other than textbooks into their lessons, such as digitally available activities, videos, and visualizations. A problem that educators face is that no review process similar to the formal adoption processes used for K-12 textbooks or the college-textbook review process exists for these types of online educational resources. However, educators need authoritative high-quality digital teaching materials. The scientific journal peer-review system offers a well-established model to adapt to the requirements of a peer review of educational materials. In this paper, we review ten review processes developed to evaluate digital geoscience educational resources and focus in detail on a rigorous iterative peer-review process recently developed by the Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) project. This process builds upon existing efforts and emphasizes the "curation" of a digital collection that addresses the Essential Principles of Climate Literacy and the Energy Literacy Principles. Providing educators with thoroughly reviewed educational materials is especially important for fast changing, societally important, and sensitive areas such as climate and energy science. © 2012 National Association of Geoscience Teachers.


News Article | February 25, 2017
Site: grist.org

This story was originally published by Fusion and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. The debate surrounding science education in America is at least as old as the 1925 Scopes “monkey trial,” in which a high school science teacher was criminally charged for teaching evolution in violation of Tennessee law. But bills percolating through state legislatures across the U.S. are giving the education fight a new flavor, by encompassing climate change denial and serving it up as academic freedom. One prominent example, South Dakota’s Senate Bill 55, was voted down Wednesday, but others are on the docket in three states, with possibly more on the way. Advocates say the bills are designed to give teachers additional latitude to explain scientific theories. Opponents say they empower science denial, removing accountability from science education and eroding the foundation of public schools. In bills making their way through statehouses in Indiana, Oklahoma, and Texas, and a potential measure in Iowa, making common cause with climate change denial is a way for advocates to encourage skepticism of evolution, said Glenn Branch, deputy director for the National Center for Science Education, an advocacy group. “The rhetoric falls into predictable patterns, and the patterns are very similar for those two groups of science deniers,” he said. Science defenders like the NCSE say science denial has three pillars: that the science is uncertain; that its acceptance would have bad moral and social consequences; and that it’s only fair to present all sides. All three are at work in the latest efforts to attack state and federal education standards on science education, Branch said. According to a survey published last year, this strategy is already making headway. The survey, in the journal Science, found that three-fourths of science teachers spend time on climate change instruction. But of those teachers, 30 percent tell their students that it is “likely due to natural causes,” while another 31 percent teach that the science is unsettled. Yet 97 percent of scientists who actively study Earth’s climate say it is changing because of human activity. In South Dakota, state Rep. Chip Campbell (R) of Rapid City said the bill would have enabled broader discussions in the classroom, according to The Argus-Leader. “In science it is imperative that we show not only the strengths but also the weaknesses of theories,” he said. “Weaknesses, not strengths, are the key to finding the truth.” Many of these bills are being pushed in response to recently adopted federal standards for science education. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), developed by 26 states, were finalized in 2015. As of November 2016, 16 states had adopted them, and the guidelines are under consideration in several others. Efforts to undermine science education are often related to adoption of the new standards. In West Virginia in 2016, for example, lawmakers removed language in the standards that said human activity has increased carbon dioxide emissions and affected the climate. In Wyoming, lawmakers passed a statute banning public schools from teaching climate change is caused by humans, though that was later repealed. Also in 2016, Idaho lawmakers passed a bill permitting the use of the Bible in public schools as long as it was in connection with astronomy, biology, and geology. The bill passed in a modified form without referencing those scientific topics, but it was later vetoed. “The concerns of these anti-science officials aren’t rooted in peer-vetted science. They are rooted in opposition to learning the truth about climate change,” said Lisa Hoyos, the director of Climate Parents, an offshoot of the Sierra Club that supports climate education. “The purpose of these bills is to create space for peer-reviewed, evidence-based science to be challenged based on teachers’ political opinions.” It’s part of a third wave of anti-science legislation at the state level, according to Branch. The first wave, specifically targeting evolution, dissipated after 1968, when the Supreme Court ruled in Epperson v. Arkansas that prohibiting the teaching of evolution was unconstitutional. The second wave focused on “intelligent design,” a branch of creation theory that postulates a higher power guides and shapes the process of evolution. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, anti-evolutionists focused on bills that would require teachers to say evolution was controversial, while staying silent on possible alternatives, Branch said. Later Supreme Court cases also rejected these policies on various First Amendment grounds. The newest wave, which began around 2004, focuses on “academic freedom — teach the controversy, talk about theories’ strengths and weaknesses,” Branch said. “They all have the same effect, which is to free teachers from having to teach evolution as accepted science, and to prevent state and local officials from doing anything about it,” he said. The bills initially targeted evolution, but later, advocates came up with a standard list: biological evolution, the origin of life, global warming, and human cloning are considered the controversial topics in science education, Branch said. He and Hoyos both noted that the bill would have protected teachers who wanted to teach anything at all, not just skepticism of climate change and evolution. “A teacher could, on the public dime, teach creationism, flat-Earthism, white supremacism, and there would be nothing that the taxpayers could do about it,” Branch said. “It’s not that science teachers shouldn’t have some freedom to do what they do; but all of these states already have all various kinds of regulations, policies, and informal practices that give a reasonable degree of freedom.” Similar active bills include Indiana’s Senate Resolution 17, Oklahoma’s Senate Bill 393, and Texas’s House Bill 1485, Branch said. Because Indiana’s is a resolution, it would have no legal effect other than to express the intent of lawmakers, which Branch said was an “interesting variant.” In Iowa, lawmakers are discussing a measure that would make the next generation standards optional, he said. To date, South Dakota’s was the only measure to have been passed by a chamber of the legislature; the state Senate passed it in January. It’s also the first measure to die. It lingered in a House education committee before a hearing was scheduled for Wednesday, and it was defeated, 11-4. Its sponsor, Republican Sen. Jeff Monroe of Pierre, had introduced different versions of the bill for the past four years, but it never made it as far as it did in 2017, Hoyos said. “Perhaps that’s because of the political climate we’re in, with the president actively opposing climate science,” she said. “From the president on down, there are some political forces in our society who think it is open season to attack climate science.”


News Article | February 22, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

Deb Wolf, a high school science instructional coach who helps teachers in Sioux Falls, S.D., schools write science curriculum, poses for a photo in Sioux Falls on Friday, Feb. 17, 2017. South Dakota legislators are weighing whether to let teachers decide how much skepticism to work into lessons on contentious scientific topics such as evolution and climate change. (AP Photo/James Nord) PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota legislators are weighing whether to let teachers decide how much skepticism to work into lessons on contentious scientific topics such as evolution and climate change. A House committee on Wednesday is set to consider the measure, which would give legal protection to teachers who want to discuss "in an objective scientific manner the strengths and weaknesses" of the subjects. South Dakota is one of at least three states, along with Texas and Oklahoma, considering such a bill. Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee have enacted similar laws, according to Glenn Branch, deputy director of the California-based National Center for Science Education, which opposes the proposal. Branch said there are concerns that such a bill would embolden some teachers to start presenting creationism in their classrooms. Critics argue that the measure is bad for students and that allowing teachers to teach any science curriculum they choose could subject school districts to litigation. Federal courts have struck down attempts to present creationism in various forms at public schools, Branch said. South Dakota Sen. Jeff Monroe, the bill's prime sponsor, said teachers should be able to talk about weaknesses in scientific theories, but he disputed that it would allow for creationism to seep into school teachings. Rogue teaching of creationism instead of science wouldn't happen because it's not included in South Dakota's science content standards, he said. The Republican has said he has heard from concerned teachers, including one who was chastised for discussing how embryos develop and another who was frustrated that she was forced to teach climate change as a fact. "That's how we got off the theory that man can't fly, that's how we got off the flat earth theory, by analyzing the theories, not by being stuck, told this is true and you're going to believe it and they're going to teach it as true," said Monroe, who added that it could help students learn. The effort may face a hurdle in GOP Gov. Dennis Daugaard, who said in a recent letter to a group of Augustana University professors that he views the bill as unnecessary. Deb Wolf, a high school science instructional coach who helps teachers in Sioux Falls schools write science curriculum said the bill is superfluous. She said she's concerned that it would protect educators who teach things that aren't "truly science." Pam Wells, a Mobridge-Pollock High School science teacher, said some parents have asked her to teach intelligent design during her 35 years in public schools. Wells said she read the textbooks they gave her on the subject, but decided not to include it in her curriculum because the theories weren't based in science. Wells said one high school senior told her that he wouldn't come to her class if she dropped evolutionary theory and picked up intelligent design, which holds that certain features of life forms are so complex that they can best be explained by an origin from an intelligent higher power. "He said, 'If I wanted to learn about that I'd go to church," said Wells, who plans to testify against the bill. Shannon Schlomer is a father of five kids who have attended Mobridge-area schools. He has written letters to the editor of the local paper urging lawmakers to kill the bill, which he said aims to belittle established science and would hurt kids in South Dakota who want to go to college to become physicists, geologists or cosmologists. Steve Matzner, an Augustana professor who signed a letter earlier this month urging House members to vote against the bill, teaches introductory biology classes every year. Some of the students come from small schools where evolutionary theory is breezed over, and they tend to struggle grasping evidence-based teaching, he said. "The biggest effect of the bill would be that it could underprepare high school students if their science education is being watered down," he said.


News Article | February 22, 2017
Site: hosted2.ap.org

(AP) — South Dakota legislators are weighing whether to let teachers decide how much skepticism to work into lessons on contentious scientific topics such as evolution and climate change. A House committee on Wednesday is set to consider the measure, which would give legal protection to teachers who want to discuss "in an objective scientific manner the strengths and weaknesses" of the subjects. South Dakota is one of at least three states, along with Texas and Oklahoma, considering such a bill. Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee have enacted similar laws, according to Glenn Branch, deputy director of the California-based National Center for Science Education, which opposes the proposal. Branch said there are concerns that such a bill would embolden some teachers to start presenting creationism in their classrooms. Critics argue that the measure is bad for students and that allowing teachers to teach any science curriculum they choose could subject school districts to litigation. Federal courts have struck down attempts to present creationism in various forms at public schools, Branch said. South Dakota Sen. Jeff Monroe, the bill's prime sponsor, said teachers should be able to talk about weaknesses in scientific theories, but he disputed that it would allow for creationism to seep into school teachings. Rogue teaching of creationism instead of science wouldn't happen because it's not included in South Dakota's science content standards, he said. The Republican has said he has heard from concerned teachers, including one who was chastised for discussing how embryos develop and another who was frustrated that she was forced to teach climate change as a fact. "That's how we got off the theory that man can't fly, that's how we got off the flat earth theory, by analyzing the theories, not by being stuck, told this is true and you're going to believe it and they're going to teach it as true," said Monroe, who added that it could help students learn. The effort may face a hurdle in GOP Gov. Dennis Daugaard, who said in a recent letter to a group of Augustana University professors that he views the bill as unnecessary. Deb Wolf, a high school science instructional coach who helps teachers in Sioux Falls schools write science curriculum said the bill is superfluous. She said she's concerned that it would protect educators who teach things that aren't "truly science." Pam Wells, a Mobridge-Pollock High School science teacher, said some parents have asked her to teach intelligent design during her 35 years in public schools. Wells said she read the textbooks they gave her on the subject, but decided not to include it in her curriculum because the theories weren't based in science. Wells said one high school senior told her that he wouldn't come to her class if she dropped evolutionary theory and picked up intelligent design, which holds that certain features of life forms are so complex that they can best be explained by an origin from an intelligent higher power. "He said, 'If I wanted to learn about that I'd go to church," said Wells, who plans to testify against the bill. Shannon Schlomer is a father of five kids who have attended Mobridge-area schools. He has written letters to the editor of the local paper urging lawmakers to kill the bill, which he said aims to belittle established science and would hurt kids in South Dakota who want to go to college to become physicists, geologists or cosmologists. Steve Matzner, an Augustana professor who signed a letter earlier this month urging House members to vote against the bill, teaches introductory biology classes every year. Some of the students come from small schools where evolutionary theory is breezed over, and they tend to struggle grasping evidence-based teaching, he said. "The biggest effect of the bill would be that it could underprepare high school students if their science education is being watered down," he said.


News Article | November 10, 2016
Site: www.scientificamerican.com

This week the U.S. elected businessman and reality TV star Donald Trump as its 45th president. As Scientific American has reported in the run-up to the election, Trump's views on science, health and medicine appear unformed at best, ignorant and destructive at worst. To get an idea of what top minds in science, health and research are thinking, we reached out to Scientific American's Board of Advisers to get their quick-fire reactions to the election outcome. The excerpts, some of them edited for length, appear below. The two largest nations in the English-speaking world have just suffered catastrophes at the hands of voters—in both cases the uneducated, anti-intellectual portion of voters. Science in both countries will be hit extremely hard: In the one case, by the xenophobically inspired severing of painstakingly built-up relationships with European partners; in the other case by the election of an unqualified, narcissistic, misogynistic sick joke as president. In neither case is the disaster going to be short-lived: in America because of the nonretirement rule of the Supreme Court; in Britain because Brexit is irreversible. There are top scientists in America and Britain—talented, creative people, desperate to escape the redneck bigotry of their home countries. Dear New Zealand, you are a deeply civilized small nation, with a low population in a pair of beautiful, spacious islands. You care about climate change, the future of the planet and other scientifically important issues. Why not write to all the Nobel Prize winners in Britain and America, write to the Fields medalists, Kyoto and Crafoord Prize and International Cosmos Prize winners, the Fellows of the Royal Society, the elite scientists in the National Academy of Sciences, the Fellows of the British Academy and similar bodies in America. Offer them citizenship. The contribution that creative intellectuals can make to the prosperity and cultural life of a nation is out of all proportion to their numbers. You could make New Zealand the Athens of the modern world. Yes, dear New Zealand, I know it’s an unrealistic, surreal pipe dream. But on the day after U.S. election day, in the year of Brexit, the distinction between the surreal and the awfulness of the real seems to merge in a bad trip from which a pipe dream is the only refuge. President-elect Trump's upset election caught many by surprise. We have not heard very much from him or his colleagues on his views on science and basic research, so I can only say that I hope that he recognizes the long-term value of basic research investment and will support the agencies of the U.S. government that support and pursue it, including the National Science Foundation. Like many, I was caught off guard by these election results. It is the will of the U.S. people, and given the polarity of the power, we can anticipate a number of significant and long-lasting changes. I do think that given the reality of today’s world and the checks and balances built into America, that exactly how these changes will play out is to be determined. I anticipate that many will be surprised by what can be done, and what cannot be done within government. I personally was born into poverty, and everything I have accomplished I did on my own. The best way to maximize professional success and rewards is to work hard; to maximize society is to be charitable; to maximize equality is to be ethical; to maximize peace is to be peaceful. I see myself taking more personal responsibility for the welfare of others close to me, and continue to be the best possible scientist, for what we are and what we will be is largely governed by the scientific discoveries that we apply to move humanity forward. —Harold “Skip” Garner, Executive director and professor, Primary Care Research Network and the Center for Bioinformatics and Genetics, Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine A smaller than projected voter turnout (approximately seven million Democrats and two million Republicans less than the 2012 election) was likely the cause of the outcome. Unexpected outcomes are part of scientific life and we are experts at learning from them. —Michael Gazzaniga, director, Sage Center for the Study of the Mind, University of California, Santa Barbara Fundamental research, dealing with climate change and the environment, nuclear weapons treaties, international relations, women’s rights, health and welfare, and more generally, public policy based on empirical reality, all have been dealt a blow. The president-elect has expressed disinterest or disdain for the results of scientific analyses relevant for public policy, and the vice president–elect has been an open enemy of science. It remains to be seen how this will play out, but a Republican congress seems unlikely to put many checks on this. First, I think that the forecasting capability of the media and others involved in studying elections and the interaction of the social sciences is flawed. That's clear. Regardless, this is a strong country, a strong democracy with great intellectual capacity and good will, with a deep sense of human rights and social justice shared among the people. I think at the end of the day the American people, as a whole, will provide a good balance of judgment. I think the issue of American international competitiveness in science, technology and arts research will continue to be a centerpiece of policy considerations going forward. Importantly, a number of Supreme Court justices will likely be appointed during the next administration, and with one party governing all aspects of the government—the legislative, judicial and executive—the influence on the judicial system and future development of a progressive social policy is of concern. America's prominence and international influence is largely based on the prestige and trust the U.S. enjoys, in part a result of the last century’s contributions to advancing science, medicine, technology and the pursuit of social justice. Our position as trusted members of the global community must be maintained and improved if we are to positively impact global development for the benefit of our own citizens as well as those of the world. —Robert E. Palazzo, dean, University of Alabama at Birmingham College of Arts and Sciences At this moment, November 9, 2016, I am sick in heart and spirit, bereft of even a shred of optimism. All the ideals of the enlightenment on which our country was founded, all the principles of reason and open-mindedness that undergird the practice of science that we so fervently cherish, and to which we can rightfully attribute our progress in improving the welfare of humankind, have been effectively and thoroughly repudiated. The significance of the result of the election—that those opposing these beliefs will now either control or greatly influence every branch of the U.S. government—cannot be overemphasized. In such a moment it’s natural to search the past for lessons. All successful civilizations throughout history have ultimately perished. Further, the evolution of our country's democracy is following an ancient script: the seeds of Trump's philosophical victory can be found in the very multicultural, multi-viewpoint, open-armed inclusiveness of the democratic ideal America has pursued since its beginnings. In his article in New York Magazine, Andrew Sullivan finds in Plato's Republic, written 2,400 years ago, the view that a “rainbow-flag polity” is the most inherently unstable, and that “tyranny is probably established out of no other regime than democracy.” It does indeed make you wonder if last night wasn’t inevitable. My deepest worry is that this transition really could signal the end of the American Republic and the light it tried for 240 years, at least on paper, to shine on all the world. What it means for the practice of science in this country, the rights of women and minorities, the future of our planet’s health, the survival of all the creatures with whom we share the Earth and for our relationships with other nations, I have no stomach to predict. But it does very much seem right now that the winning faction of the U.S. populace has decided that the Earth really is flat, and that will be the guiding principle for governance from this moment on. What is there to say? It's especially scary that there won't be separation of powers. It's also shocking (if the numbers are accurate) the percentage of women (and men) who voted for Trump. And of course science, climate, you name it ... you have to wonder. The one “plus” from this result is that reducing poverty may move higher on the agenda of the right as well as the left. But it should scare us Europeans into developing stronger and better coordinated pan-European policies to offer countervailing power to the U.S. —Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal and emeritus professor of cosmology and astrophysics, Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge This administration may be the least science- and science education–friendly one in generations. One possible nominee for the education department, Ben Carson, is a young-Earth creationist. Vice President[–elect] Pence has supported antievolution legislation in Indiana and has even pronounced evolution as unscientific on the floor of the House of Representatives. At the National Center for Science Education, we found that creationists are emboldened to act locally and at the state level when the “bully pulpit” of the presidency favors them—even if the federal government has little or no role in determining local curricula. Nominees for Energy [the Department of Energy], EPA [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency], NIH [National Institutes of Health], NSF (National Science Foundation] and other agencies are likely to be equally problematic and, of course, many members of the administration have declared their rejection of climate change. Should they and their appointees act upon that belief, agreements made with China and other nations by the current administration are at risk—which means that the future of the planet is at risk. Science and science education did not come out ahead in this election. Science was sidelined during the presidential campaign and we will have to wait to see the science policy of the new administration with an open mind. —Terry Sejnowski, professor and laboratory head of Computational Neurobiology Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies When it appeared Trump would win, the Dow plunged 800 points in after-hours trading, and pundits predicted [Wednesday] would be the worst economic collapse since 9/11 and the 2008 meltdown. As I write this, the Dow is up 265 points, the NASDAQ up 43 points. Predictions are hard to make, especially about the future, particularly in elections and economics. With that caveat I predict: Markets will be fine and economic growth will continue steady and may even improve one half to 1 percent in 2017. No wall will be built on the Mexican border (and Canadians will not build a wall blocking us!). We will not change our nuclear policies, we will not adopt “no first use” policy (as Obama did not either), and we will go another four years without using nuclear weapons. North Korea ... oh who the hell knows what that wingnut will do, but very likely nothing will change and eventually the country will go out of business with their failing economy, and North and South Korea will reunite just like East and West Germany did. Putin will hesitate to challenge NATO or take further territory in eastern Europe. ISIS will be completely eradicated before the end of 2017, but global terrorism will not be, as no president or government can reduce it to zero, but it will continue to fail as a means of bringing about political change. Tensions in the Middle East will continue as they have since I was in college and voted for the first time in 1972. Some things never change. Stay calm everyone. We have a strong republic that will continue growing stronger. We have lots of checks and balances in place to prevent any extreme actions taken by anyone, and as Pres. Obama has been reiterating this past year to those pessimists who think things are bad and getting worse, this is and will continue to be the best time there has ever been to be alive. Advancement of science transcends partisan boundaries and is fundamental for human health, and is a bedrock for U.S. technological advances and the economy. Hopefully, this will continue under any new administration. Although there is a rise in nationalism around the world, I think it is important that the international openness of science, its collaborations and its benefits be maintained for the benefit of all. The main questions are whether Trump/Pence will 1) support science research as a core to the economic engine and American competitiveness and 2) use science outcomes to inform policymaking. The rhetoric on the campaign trail implies “no” on both counts, but the desire to make good on campaign promises to promote our economic interests implies that they should. —Michael E. Webber, co-director, Clean Energy Incubator, and associate professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin It took the U.S. two decades to go from climate obstructionist to climate leader, and one ugly season to throw it away. Now we will see if we are truly a nation of laws and due process, or as weak as we tend to characterize some dictatorships. I am embarrassed for my generation and am having trouble facing a younger generation that have very basic questions about our selfishness. If there is a “silver lining” it is that we are a nation of strong institutions and now we shall see, are our ideals up to the task? My state of California—hardly popular to the Trump voters—offers a hopeful perspective. The problem today is that the U.S. has truly “hit its stride” on climate, and, while also far from perfect, was progressing. Now, advocates of sustainability and intra- and inter-national equity and partnership must re-tool, but without any buffer or luxury of time. Above all, this new strategy and route to integrate and partner must evolve fast, and must find common ground with an electorate infused with the sad anger and pessimism that led to the Trump victory. What California—and Morocco, Kenya, Denmark, Bangladesh, The Vatican, Germany, Nicaragua, and others—offer are imperfect but very real examples that show that our energy and material system can actually evolve much faster than previously thought. It takes steadily evolving technology. But more important is the development of a coherent plan. What we have just done is to steal from our children's future—and personally from my two dear daughters. This article has been updated to include comment from Daniel Kammen. ​


News Article | September 13, 2016
Site: www.huffingtonpost.com

Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Jill Stein all answered promptly and in some detail, Gary Johnson, the Libertarian, did not. Along with its partners in this effort -- a coalition of 56 leading U.S. science, medicine and engineering organizations representing more than 10 million people -- ScienceDebate.org not only calls on U.S. presidential candidates to address the 20 questions, but also encourages journalists, debate moderators and voters to press the candidates on them. "These 2- issues have at least as profound an impact on voters' lives as those more frequently covered by journalists, including candidates' views on economic policy, foreign policy, and faith and values," said ScienceDebate.org chair Shawn Otto. This view is supported by a 2015 national poll commissioned by ScienceDebate.org and Research!America which revealed that a large majority of Americans (87 percent) want candidates for President and Congress to have a basic understanding of the science informing public policy. The consortium crowd-sourced and refined hundreds of suggestions, then submitted the questions to the four campaigns along with an invitation to the candidates to discuss them on television, preferably in a live science debate (or forum) organized by the group. "Ideally, the people seeking to govern a first-world country would have a basic understanding of everything from sustainable energy to environmental threats to evidence-based medicine," observed the Des Moines Register in a recent editorial. "They would talk about these things... Imagine if the public -- and debate moderators -- pressured presidential candidates to talk about the country's electrical grid or emerging disease threats instead of abortion and transgender bathrooms. Political discourse would be smarter. And the individuals who seek the highest office in the land might learn a few things, too." The list of organizations supporting the 20 Questions project (see below) is a Who's Who of the American science enterprise. To support ScienceDebate's effort to raise awareness of the vital role science plays in modern life, visit ScienceDebate.org. Other supporters and signatories include over 20 Nobel prizewinners, major actors, university presidents, tech leaders, hospitals and hospital leaders, journalists, science activists, and dozens of other science, health, medicine, and engineering advocates from across the nation. **ScienceDebate.org *American Association for the Advancement of Science American Association of Geographers *American Chemical Society American Fisheries Society American Geophysical Union *American Geosciences Institute *American Institute of Biological Sciences American Institute of Professional Geologists American Rock Mechanics Association American Society for Engineering Education American Society of Agronomy American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists American Society of Mammalogists American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering Association for Women Geoscientists Association of Ecosystem Research Centers Automation Federation *Biophysical Society Botanical Society of America Carnegie Institution for Science Conservation Lands Foundation Crop Science Society of America Duke University Ecological Society of America Geological Society of America *IEEE-USA International Committee Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies Materials Research Society NACE International, The Worldwide Corrosion Authority *National Academy of Engineering *National Academy of Medicine *National Academy of Sciences National Cave and Karst Research Institute *National Center for Science Education National Ground Water Association Natural Science Collections Alliance Northeastern University Organization of Biological Field Stations Paleontological Society *Research!America Scientific American magazine Seismological Society of America *Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society Society for Science & the Public Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections Society of Fire Protection Engineers Society of Wetland Scientists Society of Women Engineers Soil Science Society of America SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry Tufts University *Union of Concerned Scientists University City Science Center *U.S. Council on Competitiveness The Wildlife Society World Endometriosis Research Foundation America *Supplied experts to the questions development process **Lead organizer The consortium's list of 20 questions are available online at ScienceDebate.org/20answers.


Reid A.,National Center for Science Education
RNA Biology | Year: 2014

Fundamental observations about nature sometimes take a circuitous and utterly unpredictable course from bright idea to demonstrably practical impact. The tale of how Carl Woese's basic insights about microbial diversity eventually contributed to the emergence of a new field of science with numerous potential applications is just such a story.©2014 The Surface Science Society of Japan.


Branch G.,National Center for Science Education | Scott E.C.,National Center for Science Education | Rosenau J.,National Center for Science Education
Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics | Year: 2010

Creationism continues to present a challenge to the teaching of evolution in the United States. With attempts to ban evolution education and to "balance" the teaching of evolution with creationism unavailing, creationists are increasingly favoring the approach of misrepresenting evolution as scientifically controversial. To understand the ongoing challenges facing evolution education in the United States, it is necessary to appreciate creationist actions at the different levels of educational governance-state legislatures, state boards of education, local boards of education, and finally the individual classroom-that serve as the battlegrounds for the evolution education wars. Scientists are in a unique position to defend the teaching of evolution, both by resisting creationist incursions as they occur and by helping to improve the teaching of evolution at both the precollege and college levels. © 2010 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


PubMed | National Center for Science Education
Type: Historical Article | Journal: RNA biology | Year: 2014

Fundamental observations about nature sometimes take a circuitous and utterly unpredictable course from bright idea to demonstrably practical impact. The tale of how Carl Woeses basic insights about microbial diversity eventually contributed to the emergence of a new field of science with numerous potential applications is just such a story.


News Article | February 22, 2016
Site: www.techtimes.com

America's science teachers may not be teaching their students about climate change correctly. A new survey backed by the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) suggests that one-third of K-12 teachers in the United States are "climate change deniers." Though many science teachers allot substantial time to tackle climate change in the classroom, at least one in three teachers discuss climate change denial. Teachers may claim that climate change is not caused by humans, challenging what 95 percent of climate scientists say. "Worse, half of the surveyed teachers have allowed students to discuss the supposed 'controversy' over climate change without guiding students to the scientifically supported conclusion," said Josh Rosenau, NCSE programs and policy director. In the first ever nationwide survey tackling about climate change instruction in the classroom, more than 1,500 middle and high school science teachers responded to a survey. The survey tackled on the knowledge and teaching practices of science teachers on climate science. Results show both good news and bad news on climate change instruction in the classroom. Three in four science teachers allocate at least one hour of their discussion on climate change. Since most students in middle school take up science and 97 percent are enrolled in a general biology class, there is only a 3 to 4 percent chance that any student will miss climate change topics. Teachers reported discussing issues of climate change specifically greenhouse effect, carbon cycle and consequences linked to global warming like the rise in sea levels and seasonal pattern changes. On the negative side, 30 percent of science teachers tell their students that the latest global warming is due to natural causes while 12 percent do not tackle human causes. "About one in 10 [teachers] seem to be denying a human role altogether," while the remaining 5 percent don't talk about causes at all," Eric Plutzer of Penn State, lead author of the study, said. The problem comes from what teachers believe in when they discuss controversial issues like climate change. Teachers may also vary depending on what they know. Teachers may not be very knowledgeable on scientific evidence on the major causes of climate change. Roughly 50 percent said they would at least focus more on unrelated topics like pesticides, impacts of rocket launches and the ozone layer. Limited training and indecision about climate science impacts their acceptance of climate change. Though only 2 percent denied that climate change is happening, 15 percent of teachers say that latest global warming is driven by natural causes. Another one-sixth thinks that both humans and natural causes are equally important. What Needs To Be Done Science teachers, who directly influence children, should improve their knowledge and training on the issue of climate change. According to the survey, fewer than half of science teachers said they underwent formal training or instruction on climate science in college. Most teachers, however, said they are interested to continue education focusing on climate change. "It's clear that the vast majority of surveyed teachers are hungry for additional professional development," NCSE's climate expert Dr. Minda Berbeco, said. "Even half the teachers who deny the scientific consensus on climate change say they would take this training."

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