National experts on evolution and climate change to present Feb. 7 panel

NCSE panel update: We’ve just learned panelist Bill Nye will be unable to participate today due to illness. We apologize for the inconvenience; however, the event will continue as scheduled.

The nation’s top experts in defending science education, and award-winning science educator Bill Nye, will host an open panel discussion on evolution and climate change at Chapman University on Friday, Feb. 7. Leading activists in the controversy of creationism and evolution from the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) will form the panel, led by Brian Alters, Ph.D., who directs Chapman’s Evolution Education Research Center and serves as president of the NCSE.

“A well informed public is the first step to insuring that our future is in the hands of scientifically trained students capable of solving the problems of tomorrow,” Alters says. “As one of the leading educational centers in Orange County, it is our responsibility to provide this education when possible. Bringing together leading experts involved in science education for a free event is a great opportunity for the public.”

The panel includes outgoing executive director of the NCSE Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D., who led the organization for the past 27 years. Scott is the author of Evolution vs. Creationism and is well versed in many aspects of that controversy including educational, legal, scientific, religious, and social issues.

Incoming NCSE executive director Ann Reid, a molecular biologist by training, who most recently was director of the American Academy of Microbiology, will also lend her expertise on evolution and her vision for science education in schools as the event moderator.

Climate change expert and atmospheric scientist Ben Santer, Ph.D., of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and NCSE board member.  He is best known for his statistical “fingerprint” methods that pinpointed the human role in global warming and climate change.

Also on the panel will be Nye, whose Emmy-winning Bill Nye the Science Guy television show delivered informative science education in an entertaining format to millions of young viewers from 1993 to 1998.

“We’re leaving behind a tremendous problem for our kids and grandkids,” says Santer. “My generation showed that humans are affecting global climate change, but we haven’t really done anything to solve this problem. Our kids need to be savvy about the science of climate change, so they can make smarter decisions than we’ve made, and do a better job managing emissions of greenhouse gases.”

The forum will take place at Chapman University’s Argyros Forum Room 202, at 4 p.m. A reception will follow from 5 to 5:45 p.m. in Argyros Forum 209AB.  It is free and open to the public. No tickets required.

For more information on the event, contact Alters at, 714-744-7071.


Sheri Ledbetter

Sheri Ledbetter


  • I am confused–why are climate change and evolution v. creation issues lumped together? Surely they are markedly different.

    • Evolutionary biology and climate science are indeed different
      (though sometimes overlapping) areas of science. But they are alike in
      that there is widespread ideologically-motivated resistance to
      their inclusion in K-12 science education, and that’s the phenomenon
      that will be under discussion at the Feb. 7 panel. We hope to see
      you there!

      • “Ideologically motivated” is nonsense without spelling out the precise
        meanings of the terms and how one comes to know what motivates someone’s
        critical position.

        • No nonsense. I agree with Mr. Alters that ideology (not science based reasoning) is the phenomena that ties these two important fields of research together in the educational policy arena. I am sure the meanings will be evident when you attend the panel.

        • For me, “ideologically motivated” means an attitude which contradicts a considerable amount of reliable empirical evidence. Of course, that interpretation hinges on what one considers to be reliable empirical evidence. 🙂

    • I think the creation view of the human condition grants all kinds of magical escapes and interventions from natural systems, whereas an evolution-based view states we are bound to natural systems (and the results of intervention in them).

  • Thank you for opening this to the public! I’m not a Chapman student so I never get to see the awesome speakers you guys always get. Please do this more often!

  • Will this be videotaped and available to the public? I have a flight to New York on Friday so I will miss this unless I change my flight!

  • I completely agree that there are ideologically-motivated PRESSURES from the NCSE to push the dogmas of evolution onto school kids.