Controversies, scientific    and otherwise              Josh Rosenau   National Center for Science Education
What is a scientific controversy?
COREFrontier
COREFrontier
COREFrontier  Fringe
Are these controversies?
Are these controversies?Gravity
Are these controversies?GravityString theory
Are these controversies?GravityString theoryAlchemy
Are these controversies?GravityString theoryAlchemyGroup selection/kin selection
Are these controversies?GravityString theoryAlchemyGroup selection/kin selectionEvolution
Are these controversies?GravityString theoryAlchemyGroup selection/kin selectionEvolutionGlobal warming
Opinion               TRENDS in Ecology and Evolution   Vol.18 No.10 October 2003                         499Evolution: wh...
When to“teach the controversy”
When to   “teach the controversy”Of interest to audience
When to   “teach the controversy”Of interest to audiencePrimarily scientific
When to    “teach the controversy”Of interest to audiencePrimarily scientificEqual availability of information on all sides
When to    “teach the controversy”Of interest to audiencePrimarily scientificEqual availability of information on all sides...
When to    “teach the controversy”Of interest to audiencePrimarily scientificEqual availability of information on all sides...
When to    “teach the controversy”Of interest to audiencePrimarily scientificEqual availability of information on all sides...
136 co-authors!Plus 17 authors of 4 other letters,   all rebutting   Nowak et al.      … 2 more pages!
Evo-Devo
Evo-Devo
SynthiaEvo-Devo
SynthiaEvo-Devo           Evolving            RNA           enzymes
SynthiaEvo-Devo                           Artificial biochemistry           Evolving            RNA           enzymes
Darwin, 1837
So why do people callevolution controversial?
Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee
Check the literature!             Consensus statements             from scientific bodies
PubmedCheck the literature!             Consensus statements             from scientific bodies
PubmedGoogle Scholar    Check the literature!                 Consensus statements                 from scientific bodies
Pubmed            Well-sourcedGoogle Scholar    Check the literature!                 Consensus statements                ...
Pubmed           Well-sourced                   Wikipedia entriesGoogle Scholar    Check the literature!                 C...
Pubmed            Well-sourced                   Wikipedia entriesGoogle Scholar   (Check the references    Check the lite...
Pubmed            Well-sourced                   Wikipedia entriesGoogle Scholar   (Check the references                  ...
Pubmed                    Well-sourced                           Wikipedia entriesGoogle Scholar           (Check the refe...
Pubmed                    Well-sourced                           Wikipedia entriesGoogle Scholar           (Check the refe...
Pubmed                    Well-sourced                           Wikipedia entriesGoogle Scholar           (Check the refe...
Pubmed                    Well-sourced                           Wikipedia entriesGoogle Scholar           (Check the refe...
Scientific OrganizationsBrief of Amici Curiae by 56 Scientific Organizations in Selman v. Cobb County                    Ala...
http://ncse.com/voices
Federation of American Societies for       Experimental Biology“While there may be some disagreement aboutthe details of e...
Columbia Journalism Review, 2005
What can we do?
Make politicalcontroversy  political
Resist false balance
Opinions don’t differ onthe shape of the Earth.
Shift to a real debate (Neutralism vs. adaptationism, not evolution vs. creationism)
http://ncse.comhttp://facebook.com/evolution.ncse       http://twitter.com/ncse
Controversies, scientific and otherwise
Controversies, scientific and otherwise
Controversies, scientific and otherwise
Controversies, scientific and otherwise
Controversies, scientific and otherwise
Controversies, scientific and otherwise
Controversies, scientific and otherwise
Controversies, scientific and otherwise
Controversies, scientific and otherwise
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Controversies, scientific and otherwise

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Josh Rosenau's presentation at West Virginia University's symposium on science communication.

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  • There is a useful way to From physicist James Trefil : A consumer’s Guide to Pseudoscience\nWhere does evol fit in this? It’s a core idea\n-Useful to help students understand this principle by teaching evol as being composed of three parts\n
  • There is a useful way to From physicist James Trefil : A consumer’s Guide to Pseudoscience\nWhere does evol fit in this? It’s a core idea\n-Useful to help students understand this principle by teaching evol as being composed of three parts\n
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  • Singling out evolution \n
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  • (routine)\n-as of Feb 07, DI claimed >700 scientists on list\n
  • (routine)\n-as of Feb 07, DI claimed >700 scientists on list\n
  • (routine)\n-as of Feb 07, DI claimed >700 scientists on list\n
  • (routine)\n-as of Feb 07, DI claimed >700 scientists on list\n
  • (routine)\n-as of Feb 07, DI claimed >700 scientists on list\n
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  • Dobzhansky was clear about the fundamental importance of evolution, but looking at NCSE's Voices for Evolution, it's clear that he was not alone.  That book collects statements … from hundreds of societies, including the AAAS and many other scientific societies\n
  • from hundreds of societies, including the AAAS and many other scientific societies, but also societies of educators, civil libertarians, and religious leaders, emphasizing the importance of teaching evolution, and arguing against the teaching of religious attacks on evolution.  We always want more statements, so if your professional societies aren't represented in here, get cracking! … Further endorsement of Dobzhansky's maxim comes from a petition\n
  • from hundreds of societies, including the AAAS and many other scientific societies, but also societies of educators, civil libertarians, and religious leaders, emphasizing the importance of teaching evolution, and arguing against the teaching of religious attacks on evolution.  We always want more statements, so if your professional societies aren't represented in here, get cracking! … Further endorsement of Dobzhansky's maxim comes from a petition\n
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  • to follow Dobzhansky's maxim.\n
  • Transcript of "Controversies, scientific and otherwise"

    1. 1. Controversies, scientific and otherwise Josh Rosenau National Center for Science Education
    2. 2. What is a scientific controversy?
    3. 3. COREFrontier
    4. 4. COREFrontier
    5. 5. COREFrontier Fringe
    6. 6. Are these controversies?
    7. 7. Are these controversies?Gravity
    8. 8. Are these controversies?GravityString theory
    9. 9. Are these controversies?GravityString theoryAlchemy
    10. 10. Are these controversies?GravityString theoryAlchemyGroup selection/kin selection
    11. 11. Are these controversies?GravityString theoryAlchemyGroup selection/kin selectionEvolution
    12. 12. Are these controversies?GravityString theoryAlchemyGroup selection/kin selectionEvolutionGlobal warming
    13. 13. Opinion TRENDS in Ecology and Evolution Vol.18 No.10 October 2003 499Evolution: what’s wrong with‘teaching the controversy’Eugenie C. Scott1 and Glenn Branch11 National Center for Science Education, PO Box 9477, Berkeley CA 94709-0477 USAA new slogan in the fight against evolution education in biological evidence as they see why it matters to a bigthe USA and elsewhere is ‘teach the controversy’. question’ [3]. The thought does not originate with theAlthough there are scientific controversies about the ‘intelligent design’ movement, however. The Institute forpatterns and processes of evolution that are appropri- Creation Research (ICR), the oldest major antievolutionistate topics for the science classroom, and there is a con- organization in the USA, recommends that students andtinuing social controversy in certain circles about the teachers be ‘encouraged to discuss the scientific infor-validity of evolution, it is scientifically inappropriate mation that supports and questions evolution and itsand pedagogically irresponsible to teach that scientists underlying assumptions, to promote the development ofseriously debate the validity of evolution. critical thinking skills’ (emphasis in original) [4]. The intent is not to have students investigate controversiesAntievolutionists swarmed out of the woodwork recently, about patterns and processes within evolutionary theory,as Ohio prepared to adopt new statewide science education but to debate whether evolution occurred.standards – guidelines that specify what scientific knowl- Presenting all sides of a controversial issue appeals toedge and abilities students in the state’s public schools are popular values of fairness, openness and equality ofexpected to acquire – that accorded a central place to opportunity. It thus plays well with the public. But it isevolution. The situation in Ohio is not unusual for the important to examine any such appeal carefully, because itUSA. Although there is no serious dispute among Eugenie C. Scott and Glenn Branch, is easy to abuse the public’s willingness to be swayed byscientists about the scientific credentials of evolutionary such a call. Consider the following appeal: ‘students should TRENDS in Ecology and Evolution 18(10):499-502biology, a significant proportion of the American public be encouraged to investigate the […] controversy the same
    14. 14. When to“teach the controversy”
    15. 15. When to “teach the controversy”Of interest to audience
    16. 16. When to “teach the controversy”Of interest to audiencePrimarily scientific
    17. 17. When to “teach the controversy”Of interest to audiencePrimarily scientificEqual availability of information on all sides
    18. 18. When to “teach the controversy”Of interest to audiencePrimarily scientificEqual availability of information on all sidesEqual quality of materials on all sides
    19. 19. When to “teach the controversy”Of interest to audiencePrimarily scientificEqual availability of information on all sidesEqual quality of materials on all sidesUnderstandable by audience
    20. 20. When to “teach the controversy”Of interest to audiencePrimarily scientificEqual availability of information on all sidesEqual quality of materials on all sidesUnderstandable by audienceScientific equivalency of all sides
    21. 21. 136 co-authors!Plus 17 authors of 4 other letters, all rebutting Nowak et al. … 2 more pages!
    22. 22. Evo-Devo
    23. 23. Evo-Devo
    24. 24. SynthiaEvo-Devo
    25. 25. SynthiaEvo-Devo Evolving RNA enzymes
    26. 26. SynthiaEvo-Devo Artificial biochemistry Evolving RNA enzymes
    27. 27. Darwin, 1837
    28. 28. So why do people callevolution controversial?
    29. 29. Tennessee
    30. 30. Tennessee
    31. 31. Tennessee
    32. 32. Check the literature! Consensus statements from scientific bodies
    33. 33. PubmedCheck the literature! Consensus statements from scientific bodies
    34. 34. PubmedGoogle Scholar Check the literature! Consensus statements from scientific bodies
    35. 35. Pubmed Well-sourcedGoogle Scholar Check the literature! Consensus statements from scientific bodies
    36. 36. Pubmed Well-sourced Wikipedia entriesGoogle Scholar Check the literature! Consensus statements from scientific bodies
    37. 37. Pubmed Well-sourced Wikipedia entriesGoogle Scholar (Check the references Check the literature! Consensus statements from scientific bodies
    38. 38. Pubmed Well-sourced Wikipedia entriesGoogle Scholar (Check the references and the Talk page) Check the literature! Consensus statements from scientific bodies
    39. 39. Pubmed Well-sourced Wikipedia entriesGoogle Scholar (Check the references and the Talk page) Check the literature!Credible science blogs Consensus statements from scientific bodies
    40. 40. Pubmed Well-sourced Wikipedia entriesGoogle Scholar (Check the references and the Talk page) Check the literature!Credible science blogs Consensus statements(Who do they link, and from scientific bodies
    41. 41. Pubmed Well-sourced Wikipedia entriesGoogle Scholar (Check the references and the Talk page) Check the literature!Credible science blogs Consensus statements(Who do they link, and from scientific bodieswhat do people linking
    42. 42. Pubmed Well-sourced Wikipedia entriesGoogle Scholar (Check the references and the Talk page) Check the literature!Credible science blogs Consensus statements(Who do they link, and from scientific bodieswhat do people linking to them say?)
    43. 43. Scientific OrganizationsBrief of Amici Curiae by 56 Scientific Organizations in Selman v. Cobb County Alabama Academy of Science (1981) Alabama Academy of Science (1994) American Anthropological Association (1980) American Anthropological Association (2000) American Association for the Advancement of Science (1923) American Association for the Advancement of Science (1972) American Association for the Advancement of Science (1982) American Association for the Advancement of Science (2002) AAAS Commission on Science Education American Association of Physical Anthropologists American Astronomical Society (1982) American Astronomical Society (2000) American Astronomical Society (2005) American Chemical Society (1981) American Chemical Society (2005) American Geological Institute
    44. 44. http://ncse.com/voices
    45. 45. Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology“While there may be some disagreement aboutthe details of evolution, it is not a controversial theory among scientists. Rather, there is overwhelming scientific consensus that evolution is a valid explanation for the development of species. Although students should be encouraged to think critically about all ideas, introducing false controversy into science classes will ultimately impair science education.”
    46. 46. Columbia Journalism Review, 2005
    47. 47. What can we do?
    48. 48. Make politicalcontroversy political
    49. 49. Resist false balance
    50. 50. Opinions don’t differ onthe shape of the Earth.
    51. 51. Shift to a real debate (Neutralism vs. adaptationism, not evolution vs. creationism)
    52. 52. http://ncse.comhttp://facebook.com/evolution.ncse http://twitter.com/ncse

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