Reporters seeking contacts on evolution avoidance,

From: Sarah Berel-Harrop <>
Date: Thu Aug 18 2005 - 20:12:01 EDT

Dear list,

Two reporters have contacted NCSE while doing stories on the question of
teachers that experience pressure to minimize or avoid teaching evolution
in biology classes. They are seeking teachers, school board members,
parents, etc., that could be interviewed on this question (anonymously or
not). Ideally, they would like firsthand accounts of how political strife
(e.g., a school board fight or state-level fight), or social pressure
(parents complaining, administration pressure) is impacting evolution
education in a particular classroom.

NCSE has some contacts on this issue, which we have given to the reporters,
but we thought that it might also be worthwhile to put out a generic
message alerting folks, including the contact information for the
reporters. Forward this message to those who might be interested. Anyone
who feels comfortable can email or phone the reporters at their leisure (if
you are happy to talk to other reporters on this issue, feel free to CC me
at NCSE (Nick Matzke,, and I will add you to a list of
contacts that we can send to reporters who ask about this question.

The reporters are:

Mike Winerip
New York Times

Catherine Skipp
Newsweek magazine

Thanks, Nick

PS: Some of the previous news stories on this issue:

* Cornelia Dean. "Evolution Takes a Back Seat in U.S. Classes." New York
Times, February 1, 2005.

* National Science Teachers Association (2005). "Survey Indicates Science
Teachers Feel
Pressure to Teach Nonscientific Alternatives to Evolution." March 24, 2005.

* Dan Vergano and Greg Toppo (2005). "'Call to arms' on evolution." USA
Today. March 23,

Previous local news stories, teachers etc. interviewed:
Fishers, IN
"Evolution debate may play out in schools: Backers of 'intelligent design'
say Darwin's theory shouldn't go unchallenged"

Blount County, TN
"School board OKs teaching evolution alternatives"

Colorado Springs, CO
"Religious parent in Springs argues his case",1299,DRMN_15_3982020,

Kentucky (a Scopes-era creationism law still on the books, and it obviously
still has an impact)
"Science, faith get equal play in classroom. Some take offense; others say
it's way to do it."

Dover, Delaware
"The Darwinian dilemma: Local teachers keep evolution in the classroom 
with caveats  as nationwide controversy continues to escalate."

Oneonta, NY
"Locals differ on 'intelligent design'. President's stance on concept
brings reactions from clergy, science teachers."

Adirondack, NT
"Kids to hear evolution's 'flip side'. Adirondack school allows annual
lectures from creationist who says Darwin's theory is flawed."

Fitchburg, MA
Is God back in the classroom?

Columbia, MO
Science teachers use care when teaching 'e-word'

Hampton Roads, VA
"Evolution theory not creating much tension in Virginia schools." (However,
this story says that some sort of disclaimer or letter is read to students
in every biology class in Cheasapeake, VA).

PS: Feel free to forward this message (stripping the list header and footer
information) to allies, possible contacts, etc.

Nicholas J. Matzke
Public Information Project Director
National Center for Science Education, Inc.
420 40th Street, Suite 2
Oakland, CA
Phone: (510) 601-7203 x307
Fax: (510) 601-7204
Toll-free: 1-800-290-6006

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Received on Thu Aug 18 20:16:05 2005

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