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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
15-Aug-2005

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Contact: Michael Bernstein
m_bernstein@acs.org
202-872-4400
American Chemical Society
@ACSpressroom

American Chemical Society supports teaching evolution in K-12

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15 -- The American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, is reiterating its call for evolution to be included in the K-12 science curricula at an "age-appropriate level," because it is "central to our modern understanding of science."

"Evolution is a well-established, central scientific concept," said William F. Carroll, Jr., Ph.D., ACS president. "In the proper context, students should be exposed to a wide diversity of ideas to help them shape their own opinions. But they should get a solid understanding of science from their science teachers through a full and robust scientific curriculum. Evolution is the proven scientific model that we should be teaching in the science classroom."

Carroll said: "Because the debate has recently moved to the national stage, the American Chemical Society wants to reiterate its position that the curricula in our nation's science classrooms should be based on well-established science, such as the theory of evolution in biology and other sciences."

In a recently adopted policy statement, the Society said that "evolutionary theory is not a hypothesis, but is the scientifically accepted explanation for the origin of species, and explains significant observations in chemistry, biology, geology, and other disciplines."

ACS urged state and local education authorities to support high-quality science standards and curricula that "affirm evolution as the only scientifically accepted explanation for the origin and diversity of species." The Society further asked administrators and curricula supervisors to make sure that evolution is taught in their classrooms and is "accurately represented in their science textbooks, and assessed on local and state science tests."

The Society said that "evolution cannot be dismissed or diminished by characterizing it as mere conjecture or speculation." The Society's first policy statement on evolution was in 1999 in response to the Kansas Board of Education's move toward de-emphasizing evolution in the curriculum.

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The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization, chartered by the U.S. Congress, with a multidisciplinary membership of more than 158,000 chemists and chemical engineers. It publishes numerous scientific journals and databases, convenes major research conferences and provides educational, science policy and career programs in chemistry. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

To view the full ACS statement, go to: http://www.chemistry.org/portal/resources/ACS/ACSContent/government/statements/2005_statements/2005_10_evolution_edu.pdf

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization, chartered by the U.S. Congress, with a multidisciplinary membership of more than 159,000 chemists and chemical engineers. It publishes numerous scientific journals and databases, convenes major research conferences and provides educational, science policy and career programs in chemistry. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.



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