March 2, 2017

The Honorable Mike Schulz
Oklahoma State Senate
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd., Room 422
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

The Honorable John Sparks
Oklahoma State Senate
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd., Room 520B
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

Dear President Pro Tempore Schulz and Democratic Leader Sparks,

On behalf of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), I write to respectfully request your opposition to Senate Bill 393. This measure is bad for science, science education, and the future economic health and well being of Oklahoma.

The AIBS is a scientific organization that works to provide decision-makers with vetted information that advances the biological sciences for the benefit of science and society. Our approximately 130 member organizations represent the breadth of the biological sciences and have a combined staff and membership of more than 200,000 scientists and science educators. Among our members are scientists and science educators throughout the state of Oklahoma.

If Senate Bill 393 is enacted, it is our understanding that it would permit teachers to miseducate Oklahoma's students about any topic a teacher deems controversial, and would prevent state and local administrators from intervening. Litigation will almost certainly result if this bill is passed, and that will do little more than cost the state money that could be better used to support teachers and students.

Importantly, there is no scientific controversy about the legitimacy of evolution or global climate change. These scientific concepts have repeatedly been tested and have grown stronger with each evaluation. Any controversy around these concepts is political, not scientific. Moreover, evolution is a core principle that helps to explain biology and informs the development of biology-based products and services, including pharmaceuticals, food, and biotechnology.

As the nation endeavors to prepare our children for good jobs and the capacity for life-long learning, we must work to strengthen our science education system - not weaken it.

Please stand up for Oklahoma's students by opposing passage of Senate Bill 393.

Sincerely,

Robert Gropp, Ph.D.
Co-Executive Director

cc: Senator Allen
Senator Bass
Senator Bergstrom
Senator Bice
Senator Boggs
Senator Brecheen
Senator Brown
Senator Dahm
Senator Daniels
Senator David
Senator Dossett
Senator Dugger
Senator Fields
Senator Floyd
Senator Fry
Senator Griffin
Senator Holt
Senator Jech
Senator Kidd
Senator Leewright
Senator Loveless
Senator Marlatt
Senator Matthews
Senator McCortney
Senator Newberry
Senator Newhouse
Senator Paxton
Senator Pederson
Senator Pemberton
Senator Pittman
Senator Pugh
Senator Quinn
Senator Rader
Senator Scott
Senator Sharp
Senator Shaw
Senator Shortey
Senator Silk
Senator Simpson
Senator Smalley
Senator Standridge
Senator Stanislawski
Senator Sykes
Senator Thompson
Senator Treat
Senator Yen

Read more AIBS Position Statements

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