Saturday, 19 June 2010

Calls for Evolution in UK Science Classes

From the BHA here;

Top scientists and educators call on government to include evolution in all schools
Twenty-six of the UK’s top scientists and science educators including three Nobel laureates; Richard Dawkins, former professor for the public understanding of science at the University of Oxford; and science education experts James Williams and Revd Professor Michael Reiss, have called on the Government to protect and promote science in the school curriculum, with the specific inclusion of evolution in the primary curriculum.
The joint letter to Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education, was organised by the British Humanist Association (BHA), which itself promotes a rounded curriculum including good science education as part of its educational aims. The letter was organised after key reforms to the primary curriculum, which included evolution for the first time, were dropped just before the election. That inclusion had come about following a similar letter organised last year by the BHA, urging the teaching of science and evolution in all schools.
Andrew Copson, BHA Chief Executive, said, ‘It was a real victory for good education to have biology’s “big idea” included in the primary science curriculum for the first time last year, and it was with huge disappointment that we saw those reforms lost. The teaching of science equips young people with the skills they need to understand the world around them in a critical way, and opens up the natural environment for inquiry. The skills children learn from science are life-skills and it is of the utmost importance that, whatever reforms are made to schools and curricula, science keeps a central place.’

‘As the central concept underlying biology, we want evolution to have an explicit inclusion in the curriculum in all schools. As increasing numbers of schools such as the new Academies will no longer have to follow the national curriculum, it is imperative that there is a firm basis for teaching evolution and natural selection, not least in light of the threat of creationism in science lessons in some schools.’

The letter has been signed by the BCSE's very own Paul Braterman is Professor Emeritus, University of North Texas and Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Chemistry, University of Glasgow.

The full text of the letter can be seen here.

You can take further action here.

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