AAAS honors defenders of evolution with Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award

SAN FRANCISCO -- Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, and nine science teachers who have been on the front lines of the battle to prevent introduction of "intelligent design" into science classrooms as an alternative to evolution, are recipients of the 2006 AAAS Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility.

Scott has been tireless in her efforts to offer assistance and information to those trying to stop local and statewide efforts to undermine science education. She has led workshops, conferences and seminars for teachers and others to explain the well-established scientific basis for evolutionary theory and why "intelligent design" fails to meet science criteria.

The award is shared by eight Pennsylvania teachers who fought efforts by the Dover Area District School Board to require the reading of an anti-evolution statement in ninth grade biology classes. The teachers, who were science teachers at Dover High School during the controversy, are Brian Bahn, Vickie Davis, Robert Eshbach, Bertha Spahr, Robert Linker, Jennifer Miller, Leslie Prall and David Taylor.

The award also is shared by R. Wesley McCoy, head of the science department at North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia. McCoy took on a public role in opposing a decision by the Cobb County School Board to require stickers on biology textbooks that read, in part: "Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things."

The AAAS selection memorandum notes that "each of these individuals has confronted efforts to undermine sound scientific thinking and has defended the integrity of science both locally and nationally."

Scott has directed the National Center for Science Education, in Oakland, Calif., since 1986. It was established to defeat the efforts of creationists and, more recently, the attempts by advocates of "intelligent design" to have religious ideas of creation inserted into sc

Contact: Lonnie Shekhtman
American Association for the Advancement of Science

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