Proper response to science-denying extremists in our classrooms

Letter (paraphrased) submitted to Science magazine on responding to science-denying political extremists in our science classrooms

 

The improper and undue influence of science-denying extremists in our public school science classes is due to the abdication by us scientists of our rightful roles as experts in all matters dealing with science.   We are the experts in science, not political extremists. It is up to us to decide what constitutes the commonly accepted scientific positions on evolution and climate change and whether or not there are any valid scientific alternatives to these well-established, proven theories.  I suggest we do this simply by polling the long-established members of the scientific societies that deal with these questions, which would be FASEB for evolution and the American Physical Society for climate change, and adopting positions that receive more support by more than 90% of the members.  In addition, school administrators should not abdicate their responsibilities for enforcing decorous behavior at public meetings on these questions so as to prohibit  any harassment and intimidation of school teachers and scientists by political extremists.  Finally, steps should also be taken to prevent any attempted stealth takeovers of scientific societies by these extremists by the proper rigorous enforcement of credentials requirements and by requiring evidence of adherence to objective scientific principles in prior investigations by applicants for membership

 

Eric A. Stone, PhD

Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology

New York University School of Medicine

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 "...by requiring evidence of adherence to objective scientific principles..."

Who is going to verify this? Creationist will claim that there is a bias against them. Or they would

want "scientists" who support intelligent design on a panel that reviews  the "objective scientific principles". I am not sure what the requirements are for the American Physical Society, 

but I doubt if creationists could gather enough people with Physics Ph.D. to take

over more than 10% of the membership.

Perhaps, instead of the American Physical Society, one should consult the members of the

National Academy of Science.

Anyway, good luck with reasoning with the unreasonable.

 

Thanks for posting the letter. Will you be posting their response? I'm curious to what they will say.

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