Statement from Dr. Alan I. Leshner, CEO of AAAS, on the Kansas State Board of Education vote

November 09, 2005

A statement from Dr. Alan I. Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and executive publisher of the journal Science, regarding the 8 November 2005 vote by the Kansas State Board of Education:

"Along with thousands of Kansas scientists, educators and other residents, we are deeply disturbed by the vote taken today by the Kansas State Board of Education. No matter how the board's majority tries to cast its action, the meaning is clear: This is a vote to mix science and faith in public school science classrooms, at great risk to the economy, to the educational institutions and, most importantly, to the children of Kansas.

"We do not believe that science and religion are inherently at odds. On the contrary, we believe they can co-exist harmoniously. Thousands of religious leaders nationwide share our view. We would not be troubled to see the issues about human origins discussed in social studies classes, however, we firmly believe that only science should be taught in science classrooms. By definition, scientific explanations are limited to rigorous, testable explanations of the natural world and cannot go beyond.

"Our students, like all of our citizens, need a clear understanding of what science is-and what it isn't-if they're going to thrive in the 21st century. The Kansas science standards say that science education must "prepare the citizens of Kansas to meet the challenge of the 21st century." But by endorsing science standards that contain misleading information and literally change the definition of science in order to cast doubt on biological evolution, the Board of Education has taken a vote to confuse students, and to undermine science education."
-end-
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world's largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science (www.sciencemag.org). AAAS was founded in 1848, and serves some 10 million individuals through 262 affiliated societies and academies of science. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of one million. A non-profit organization, AAAS (www.aaas.org) is open to all and fulfills its mission to "advance science and serve society" through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!, www.eurekalert.org, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS.

American Association for the Advancement of Science

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