As residents of Louisiana, readers of the New York Times editorial page, and scientists and educators concerned about the integrity of science education are aware; Louisiana is poised to become the next state to allocate tax-payer money to defend a lawsuit resulting from a policy adopted to placate a narrow political interest. The Louisiana state legislature has approved Louisiana Senate Bill (SB) 733, the so-called “Louisiana Science Education Act.” The measure is intended to permit teachers to introduce non-existent questions about scientific information into the classroom. The legislation, which some in Louisiana have noted is backed by the Seattle-based Discovery Institute – the leading proponent for intelligent design/creationism – was introduced in the State Senate by Ben Nevers. A Democrat, Nevers is a long-time supporter of creationism education. SB 733 is currently awaiting a signature or veto by the Louisiana Governor Jindal, a Republican.
On 3 June 2008, the American Institute of Biological Sciences added its voice to the chorus of scientific and educational organizations opposing passage of SB 733. On 13 June, AIBS and seven member societies wrote to Governor Jindal urging him to veto SB 733. To read these statements, please visit http://www.aibs.org/position-statements/ .
For additional information on developments in Louisiana and to learn how you can help, visit the Louisiana Coalition for Science at http://lasciencecoalition.org/ or the National Center for Science Education at www.ncseweb.org. AIBS information about threats to evolution education may be found at http://www.aibs.org/public-policy/teaching_evolution.html.
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