NCSE Evolution and Climate Education Update for 2017/01/13
(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)
Dear friends of NCSE, Darwin Day is less than a month away! Plus a free excerpt from Robert J. Richards and Michael Ruse's Debating Darwin. And a chance for teachers to apply to raft the Grand Canyon with NCSE.
DARWIN DAY APPROACHES It's time to dust off your Darwin costume again: less than a month remains before Darwin Day 2017! Colleges and universities, schools, libraries, museums, churches, civic groups, and just plain folks across the country -- and the world -- are preparing to celebrate Darwin Day, on or around February 12, in honor of the life and work of Charles Darwin. These events provide a marvelous opportunity not only to celebrate Darwin's birthday but also to engage in public outreach about science, evolution, and the importance of evolution education -- which is especially needed with assaults on evolution education already under way in state legislatures. NCSE encourages its members and friends to attend, participate in, and even organize Darwin Day events in their own communities. To find a local event, check the websites of local universities and museums and the registry of Darwin Day events maintained by the Darwin Day Celebration website. (And don't forget to register your own event with the Darwin Day Celebration website!) And with Darwin Day comes the return of Evolution Weekend! Hundreds of congregations all over the country and around the world are taking part in Evolution Weekend, February 10-12, 2017, by presenting sermons and discussion groups on the compatibility of faith and science. Michael Zimmerman, the initiator of the project, writes, "Evolution Weekend is an opportunity for serious discussion and reflection on the relationship between religion and science. One important goal is to elevate the quality of the discussion on this critical topic -- to move beyond sound bites. A second critical goal is to demonstrate that religious people from many faiths and locations understand that evolution is sound science and poses no problems for their faith. Finally, as with The Clergy Letter itself, Evolution Weekend makes it clear that those claiming that people must choose between religion and science are creating a false dichotomy." At last count, 250 congregations in forty-three states (and seven foreign countries) were scheduled to hold Evolution Weekend events. For the Darwin Day registry, visit: http://darwinday.org/events/ http://darwinday.org/events/community/add For information about Evolution Weekend, visit: http://www.evolutionweekend.org/ A PREVIEW OF DEBATING DARWIN NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview of Robert J. Richards and Michael Ruse's Debating Darwin (University of Chicago Press, 2016). The preview consists of the epilogue in which, after debating the interpretation of Darwin for the majority of the book, Richards and Ruse join forces to "sketch the major features" of the impact of Darwin's ideas on "the sciences, humanities, and culture more generally" since the publication of the Origin of Species in 1859. Janet Browne -- the author of Charles Darwin: Voyaging and Charles Darwin: The Power of Place -- writes that in Debating Darwin, "two world-renowned historians explore what Darwin's proposals meant in his own day and to us now ... Back and forth, the ripostes sparkle with intellectual energy. Through Ruse's and Richards' eyes, we can see Darwin afresh, as the enthralling historical figure who not only transformed biology but also our deepest sense of who we are." For the preview of Debating Darwin (PDF), visit: https://ncse.com/files/pub/evolution/excerpt--debating.pdf For information about the book from its publisher, visit: http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/D/bo24312957.html FOR A FEW LUCKY TEACHERS, AN ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME The National Center for Science Education is pleased to accept applications for its third class of Grand Canyon Teacher Scholars. Lucky teachers will be given an all-expenses-paid seat on NCSE's annual Grand Canyon expedition, an eight-day voyage through some of the world's greatest geological wonders. It's an opportunity of a lifetime, giving deserving teachers a hard-earned vacation and an incomparable learning experience. For over a dozen years, NCSE has chartered a raft trip through Grand Canyon, with staffer Steve Newton currently taking the lead in the unique and tongue-in-cheek "two model" tour of the canyon's geological history. Rafters descend through the strata, considering the hundreds of millions of years revealed on the canyon's walls, and examine how creationists try to explain that same evidence, and why such efforts are doomed to fail. "The Grand Canyon is the best geology classroom in the world," said Newton, a programs and policy director at NCSE and a geology professor at the College of Marin. "There's no better way to see deep time and explore the processes that shape our Earth than to raft down the Colorado River as it cuts down through the eons, past the Great Unconformity, to rocks almost half the age of the Earth." "It's a unique experience," Newton added. "Aside from the wonders of the canyon themselves, the winning teachers will have the opportunity to interact with their fellow rafters -- a group of people who are extraordinarily passionate about the importance of understanding deep time, evolution, and climate change, and who appreciate the role of science teachers in fostering that understanding." In a blog post reflecting on his experience during the 2015 Grand Canyon expedition, Scott Hatfield, a high school biology teacher in Fresno, California, commented, "NCSE's Grand Canyon Teacher Scholars program gave me opportunities and experiences that I never would've achieved on my own, and I would make the voyage again in a heartbeat." He described the expedition as "the trip of a lifetime." "We all want to find ways to honor the amazing work science teachers do, and I'm glad NCSE has this opportunity," explained NCSE executive director Ann Reid. "It'll be exciting to see all the applicants, and to give everyone a chance to help give teachers this spectacular reward." Teachers are encouraged to apply now (the deadline is February 1, 2017), and anyone interesting in helping teachers have this experience can contribute to the scholarship fund. For information about the 2017 expedition, visit: http://ncse.com/about/excursions/gcfaq For Scott Hatfield's blog post about his experience, visit: http://ncse.com/blog/2015/10/what-teacher-learned-grand-canyon-0016684 For information on applying for the scholarship, visit: http://ncse.com/about/excursions/teacher-scholarship And for information about donating to support the scholarship, visit: https://ncse.secure.force.com/GCscholarship WHAT'S NEW AT NCSE'S BLOG? Have you been visiting NCSE's blog recently? If not, then you've missed: * Claire Adrian-Tucci describing the latest from NCSEteach: https://ncse.com/blog/2017/01/ncseteach-update-0018431 For NCSE's blog, visit: http://ncse.com/blog 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. 1904 Franklin Street, Suite 600 Oakland CA 94612-2922 510-601-7203 fax 510-788-7971 firstname.lastname@example.org http://ncse.com Check out NCSE's blog: http://ncse.com/blog 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