NCSE's Branch in The Science Teacher

02.24.2017

Glenn Branch

NCSE's deputy director Glenn Branch contributed a column, entitled "It's About Time To Teach Evolution Forthrightly," to the February 2017 issue of The Science Teacher, a special issue devoted to evolution.

Taking the fiftieth anniversary of the repeal of Tennessee's Butler Act in 1967 as a point of departure, Branch observed that "the teaching of evolution is still contentious," citing recent calls "for teachers to be required or encouraged to misrepresent evolution as scientifically controversial."

"But of course," he continued, "evolution is anything but scientifically controversial," given the overwhelming scientific consensus. "Yet," he added, "it is regrettably common for teachers to bypass, balance, or belittle evolution," citing the results of a national survey of public high school biology teachers conducted in 2007. 

Branch briefly described a variety of ways for classroom teachers to help to improve evolution education, ending, "[if] you simply haven't found the time to do so yet, remember what Scopes reportedly said ... when Tennessee repealed the Butler Act, 42 years after his conviction: 'Better late than never.'"

Although the published version of Branch's column is available only to subscribers to The Science Teacher, the text of the column and a brief accompanying video are posted on the National Science Teachers Association blog.