2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)
Paper No. 6-5
Presentation Time: 10:00 AM-10:15 AM

PROMOTING GOOD SCIENCE

SCOTCHMOOR, Judith G., Museum of Paleontology, University of California, 1101 Valley Life Sciences Building #4780, Berkeley, CA 94720-4780, jscotch@berkeley.edu

A recent informal survey by the National Science Teachers Association revealed that more than 30% of teachers feel pressure to omit or downplay evolution in their teaching and to include nonscientific alternatives. Bruce Alberts, the president of the National Academy of Sciences, has recently called upon the NAS to confront those challenges, telling USA Today that teachers "need more support from scientists…one of the foundations of modern science is being neglected or banished outright from science classrooms in many parts of the United States."

It was in response to teachers' needs that the UC Museum of Paleontology (UCMP), in collaboration with the National Center for Science Education, developed what has become an award-winning website, Understanding Evolution [http://evolution.berkeley.edu]. As successful as this site became, it was not sufficient. As a result, UCMP expanded the site to include resources appropriate for K-16 students and the general public and that emphasize the importance of evolution both to our understanding of the world around us and to our health and economy. These resources include Case Studies that focus on three components: the principles of evolution on which the research is based, how the science was done, and the broader impact of the study to additional areas of research and/or to society. Case Studies use explanatory graphics and links to areas within the UE site to provide additional information. In addition, the Case Studies reinforce science as a personal endeavor and provide a method through which scientists can share their research with a broader audience.

However, this too appears to be insufficient. The attack on evolution is symptomatic of a growing mistrust, misconception, and misrepresentation of science. There are even attempts to re-define science. To combat this assault, there is a collaborative effort underway to examine and implement effective strategies for increasing the public understanding of science.

2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 6
Speaking Out for Evolution: Rationale and Resources for Supporting the Teaching of Evolution
Salt Palace Convention Center: Ballrooms AC
8:00 AM-12:00 PM, Sunday, 16 October 2005

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 37, No. 7, p. 21

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