NCSE is pleased to announce the winners of the Friend of Darwin award for 2018: Tiffany Adrain, the collections manager at the University of Iowa Paleontology Repository and a supporter of NCSE’s Science Booster Clubs in Iowa, and Robert Stephens, a cell and molecular biologist who proposed the idea of Darwin Day in 1993 and cofounded the Darwin Day Program to coordinate and encourage the celebrations of the great naturalist's life and work.
"The continued vitality of Darwin Day celebrations across the country — and around the world — is in large part due to Bob Stephens's success in establishing the Darwin Day program," commented NCSE's executive director Ann Reid, "while it would be hard to overstate how generous Tiffany Adrain was, both with her time and with the specimens that she curates, to the then-fledgling Science Booster Clubs that NCSE piloted in eastern Iowa."
NCSE is also pleased to announce the winners of the Friend of the Planet award for 2018: Climate Central, a group of scientists and journalists providing a reliable and accurate source of information about climate change, especially through its website and its book Global Weirdness (2013), and Kerry Emanuel, Professor of Atmospheric Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the author of What We Know About Climate Change (2007).
"Kerry Emanuel is not only a pre-eminent climate scientist but also a highly skilled climate communicator," Reid explained. "As his colleague Ben Santer says, when Emanuel speaks about human effects on climate, people listen." She added, "Likewise, Climate Central's efforts to translate the complexities of scientific research on climate change into plain English for a general public have been both indefatigable and invaluable: a true model of science communication."
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 Brian Alters, Brandon Haught, Ronald L. Numbers, and Judy Scotchmoor. Previous recipients of the Friend of the Planet Award include Michael E. Mann, Naomi Oreskes, and Skeptical Science.