NCSE Evolution and Climate Education Update for 2012/09/21
(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)
Dear Friends of NCSE, A preview of Bill McGuire's Waking the Giant. NESCent is taking its show on the road again. And NCSE's Mark McCaffrey debunks the idea of "teaching the controversy" about climate page in The Earth Scientist.
A PREVIEW OF WAKING THE GIANT NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview of Bill McGuire's Waking the Giant: How a Changing Climate Triggers Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanoes (Oxford University Press, 2012). The preview consists of the bulk of chapter 2, "Once and Future Climate," in which McGuire observes, "some past climates can provide a useful, and somewhat terrifying, [guide] to what our planet might look like by 2100 and in the centuries that follow. In particular, the post-glacial period provides us with the perfect opportunity to examine and appraise how abrupt and rapid climate changes drive the responses of the solid Earth." McGuire is Professor of Geophysical and Climate Hazards at University College London and the author of numerous books, including Global Catastrophes: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2006), Surviving Armageddon: Solutions for a Threatened Planet (Oxford University Press, 2007), and Seven Years to Save the Planet (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 2008). Of Waking the Giant, Library Journal's reviewer wrote, "The author succeeds at interpreting complex earth science into compelling reading for a popular audience. Anyone with an interest in climate change, geology, and atmospheric science will enjoy this work." For the preview of Waking the Giant (PDF), visit: http://ncse.com/book-excerpt For information about the book from its publisher, visit: http://www.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/LifeSciences/Ecology/?view=usa&ci=9780199592265 ON THE ROAD AGAIN WITH NESCENT The Darwin Day Roadshow is returning! The Roadshow is a project of the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, in which NESCent staff shares their enthusiasm for evolutionary science with students, teachers, and the general public on the occasion of Charles Darwin's birthday, February 12. According to NESCent, "Our teams talk to students, teachers and the general public about their research in evolutionary science, describe what it takes to become an evolutionary biologist (and what some of the rewards and challenges are), and convey why evolutionary science is relevant to everyone." And the results are delightful: as NESCent's Craig McClain wrote at Pacific Standard (May 15, 2011), "for all of us the Darwin Day Road Show was a gratifying adventure that no one will forget. From the landscapes with their silos, combines, center pivot crop circles, high school gymnasiums, to the indelible interactions we had along the way, we absorbed it all." Applications from schools interested in hosting the Roadshow, especially those who would not be likely to have access to Darwin Day activities otherwise, are now being accepted. Act soon, though; the application deadline is November 9, 2012. For information about NESCent's Darwin Day Roadshow and about applying to host it, visit: http://roadshow.nescent.org/ http://roadshow.nescent.org/apply/ For McClain's article in Pacific Standard, visit: http://www.psmag.com/science/scientists-take-charles-darwin-on-the-road-31211/ NCSE'S MCCAFFREY IN THE EARTH SCIENTIST NCSE's Mark McCaffrey contributed "Teaching controversy" to a special issue of The Earth Scientist focusing on climate change education. The abstract of his article: What could be wrong with presenting in a science class "both sides" of controversial topics like evolution or climate change, or having students debate the topics, using argumentation to improve their critical thinking skills? In the case of evolution, presenting supposed alternatives, such as intelligent design or young-earth creationism, is not only considered bad practice, but also unconstitutional in public schools due to the separation of church and state. However, in the case of climate change, the practice of teaching it as controversial and presenting "both sides" as if they are equally valid, is a too common practice among science teachers. This paper examines the reasons why teachers may be encouraged or drawn to "teach the controversy" about climate change, why it is not an effective practice and leaves students more confused, and how the Next Generation Science Standards may help to transform how we teach about climate and global change science and solutions. The Earth Scientist is the journal of the National Earth Science Teachers Association. McCaffrey's article appears in the fall 2012 issue (vol. 28, no. 3), pp. 25-29. For McCaffrey's article (PDF), visit: http://www.nestanet.org/cms/sites/default/files/journal/current.pdf For information about The Earth Scientist, visit: http://www.nestanet.org/cms/content/publications/tes For information about NESTA, visit: http://www.nestanet.org/cms/ Thanks for reading. And don't forget to visit NCSE's website -- http://ncse.com -- where you can always find the latest news on evolution and climate education and threats to them. -- Sincerely, Glenn Branch Deputy Director National Center for Science Education, Inc. 420 40th Street, Suite 2 Oakland, CA 94609-2509 510-601-7203 x305 fax: 510-601-7204 800-290-6006 firstname.lastname@example.org http://ncse.com Read Reports of the NCSE on-line: http://reports.ncse.com Subscribe to NCSE's free weekly e-newsletter: http://groups.google.com/group/ncse-news NCSE is on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter: http://www.facebook.com/evolution.ncse http://www.youtube.com/NatCen4ScienceEd http://twitter.com/ncse NCSE's work is supported by its members. Join today! http://ncse.com/join