"Anti-intellectualism and Anti-evolutionism: Lessons from Hofstadter"

Anti-Intellectualism in American Life book cover

NCSE's deputy director Glenn Branch contributed "Anti-intellectualism and Anti-evolutionism: Lessons from Hofstadter" to the April 2020 issue of Kappan, which took as its theme Richard Hofstadter's classic book Anti-Intellectualism in American Life.

Hofstadter's book "dissects the anti-intellectualism that runs through American history, with anti-evolutionism perhaps the most vivid example among the cases he examines," Branch began. "Fifty years after Hofstadter’s death in 1970, the specter of anti-evolutionism still haunts the American scene, especially in science education. What connection did Hofstadter discern between anti-intellectualism and anti-evolutionism in the past, what developments have occurred in the half-century since Hofstadter's death, and to what extent is his analysis helpful in understanding the present situation? And what, if anything, can Hofstadter's analysis contribute toward the improvement of science education in the future?"

Branch ended his essay by warning that despite the improvement in evolution education since Hofstadter's day, "there is no reason for complacency, especially when the forces of anti-evolutionism persist."

Glenn Branch
Short Bio

Glenn Branch is Deputy Director of NCSE.