NCSE is pleased to announce the winners of the Friend of Darwin award for 2016: Andrew J. Petto, a physical anthropologist, who formerly served on NCSE's board of directors and as the editor of Reports of the National Center for Science Education; Donald R. Prothero, a paleontologist and prolific author whose latest book is The Story of Life in 25 Fossils; and Paula Spence, a cartoonist and artist who has been contributing graphics of all sorts to NCSE for almost a decade.
"Anj Petto served NCSE, as well as the cause of science education, so long and so well that he was a natural choice," commented NCSE's executive director Ann Reid, "while it would be hard to think of anyone who has contributed as much to the public understanding of the paleontological evidence for evolution and against creationism as Don Prothero." She added, "And Paula Spence's art for NCSE has entertained, enlightened, and educated thousands of people."
NCSE is also pleased to announce the winners of the Friend of the Planet award for 2016: Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University; Dana Nuccitelli and John P. Abraham, who contribute the Climate Consensus – the 97% column to the Guardian; and Skeptical Science, a website devoted to explaining climate change science and rebutting global warming misinformation created and maintained by John Cook of the University of Queensland.
"All of the Friends of the Planet for 2016 shine as climate communicators, in different but complementary ways," Reid explained. "Katharine Hayhoe excels at building connections between science and society and Dana Nuccitelli and John Abraham have consistently provided timely commentary on the latest developments. And Skeptical Science is simply unrivaled as a vast, up-to-date, and in-depth source of accurate and accessible information on climate change science."
The Friend of Darwin and Friend of the Planet awards are presented annually to a select few whose efforts to support NCSE and advance its goal of defending the teaching of evolution and climate science have been truly outstanding. Previous recipients of the Friend of Darwin award include Niles Eldredge, Susan Epperson, John F. Haught, and the plaintiffs in Kitzmiller v. Dover. Previous recipients of the Friend of the Planet Award include Michael Mann, Naomi Oreskes, and the Alliance for Climate Education.