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NCSE Roundup: More Science and Data Needed for Gun Control Debate

NCSE Round-Up: More Science and Data Needed for Gun Control Debate

This week in the National Center for Science Education's discussion of evolution and climate change, the NCSE team gets political by discussing the importance of science in the gun control debate as well as the times when charitable donations can be a bad thing.

In Response to the Oregon Tragedy: More Science Needed to Assess Gun Debate

Josh Rosenau is arguing this week for more science and therefore research to procure more data on gun violence in this country.

Because political barriers make it hard to collect data on gun violence, Rosenau argues that we won't ever have an idea on how to move forward and fix the acts of violence plaguing our communities.

" However we as a society choose to regulate firearms, surely that decision should be informed by science and evidence. For the sake of our schools, our communities, and our nation, we deserve the best possible science, not political barriers," he said.

Read his full post here.

Girls in Science: Equal Opportunity Versus Separate Girl-Version of Science

Emily Schoerning wants a place of girls in science- but she wants this place to be an equal one, not one that is made more feminized or "pretty" to appeal more.

STEM doesn't need to be girlified, she argues.

"Very often, when our society attempts to appeal to girls, we end up talking down to them. Instead of letting them on the field, we build them a separate (but pretty!) field," she said.

What prompted her post is the #PrettyCurious campaign to get girls interested in STEM.

"Let’s work for STEM education where every kid has a chance to be #relentlesslycurious or #obsessivelycurious or #allcuriousallthetime. No #pretty necessary."

Read the full post here

When Charity is Bad: Coca-Cola Uses Charity Donations to Dodge Negative Focus on Sugary Products

"Sugar-rich sodas have been fingered as particularly dangerous by the health research community, not because their sugar is any different or worse than the sugar in other foods, but because they are so widely and frequently consumed," writes Ann Reid.

And in order to combat the negative implications of this research, Coca-Cola has engaged in a typical and effective PR move by donating more than $120 million to its opponents: he American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Cardiology, the American Cancer Society, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to name a few.

"Raising money is hard, and places like the American Academy of Pediatrics can do a lot of good with the money they get from Coca-Cola. But if the hidden cost is helping Coca-Cola play fast and loose with scientific evidence, it’s a devil’s bargain," Reid argues.

Read her full post here. 

This Week in Science: Articles That Have Caught the NCSE Team's Eye

The NCSE team has compiled a list of articles from the past couple weeks that highlight important research, findings and discussions concerning evolution and climate change.

Such articles include more information about the Homo Naledi fossil discovery and the evolution of stinky cheese.

See the full list here. 

Water on Mars: The Importance of Evolution When Looking for Life on Mars

The recent finding of possible liquid water on Mars indicates that there very well could be the potential for life on planets other than Earth.

"The idea that life-not-quite-as-we-know-it might still persist somewhere on Earth is fascinating enough. But more intriguing is the possibility that such life could exist on Mars," says Josh Rosenau.

"All of this is a reminder of just how fundamental evolution is to our thinking about life. Life as we know it shares essential similarities thanks to its shared ancestry and to constraints inherent to chemistry, geology, and astronomy," he said.

Read his full post for ideas on how to teach the exciting finding in your classroom.

Compiled by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

10/08/2015

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