Subject: Discussion about evolution with members of the Kansas Board of Education
You may know that a large creationist effort to thwart any inclusion of evolution in the new Kansas curriculum frameworks
for science is being mounted in Kansas. The Kansas Board of Education will vote on the issue next month. At this time, the
Board is evenly divided about whether evolution should be included. An article that appeared today in the L.A. Times describing
these new efforts in several states is appended at the end of this message.
Several days ago, the Center received a call from Dr. John Staver, a professor of science education at Kansas State University
and the current president of the Association of Educators for Teachers of Science. Dr. Staver was looking for people from
the National Academies to speak with several new members of the Kansas Board of Education who will be in Washington next weekend
for a conference (they also are evenly divided about the issue).
I just spoke with him and found out about the details of that visit. The Board members will be at the Wyndham Bristol Hotel
and would be available to talk about this issue for 30-45 minutes this Friday, July 16, at 5:00 PM. I told Dr. Staver that
the timing is difficult with such short notice and at the time that the Board of Education members would be available. However,
I said that I would try to contact NAS members who are in the Washington area to check about their availability to speak with
I realize that this is terribly short notice, but given your involvement with the "Teaching About Evolution" report,
I thought I would check with you. I also will contact Dillon Ripley at the Smithsonian. Harold Pratt indicated that he could
meet with these people and I also am trying to get Irene Eckstrand, an evolutionary biologist at NIH and the chair of the
education council of the Society for the Study of Evolution, to participate.
Please let me know if you are able to join this meeting and I will provide you with additional details. Thank you in advance
for your consideration of this request.