A groundswell of support in Texas

When the Texas state board of education held its final public hearing on science textbook adoption on November 20, 2013, NCSE's Joshua Rosenau was on hand to present the board with a statement urging the adoption of the textbooks endorsed by no fewer than fifty-one scientific and educational societies.

The statement observed (PDF), "Evolution is the foundation of modern biology, an explanation for the diversity of life on earth which has opened up tremendous scientific and technological opportunities. It is central to fields as diverse as agriculture, computer science, engineering, geology, and medicine. The teaching of evolution and — for similar reasons — climate change should not be undermined in textbooks, whether by minimizing, misrepresenting, or misleadingly singling them out as controversial or in need of greater scrutiny than other topics are given, adding, "By adopting textbooks recommended by the top scientists and teachers in Texas, you will give students and teachers the foundation for an exemplary science education, the sort of education that they will need to succeed in the 21st century."

Among the signatory organizations were the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, the Society for the Study of Evolution, the National Association of Biology Teachers, and the National Science Teachers Association.

Rosenau also submitted separate but concurring statements from the Geological Society of America (PDF), the American Society for Microbiology's Education Board and Committee on K-12 Outreach (PDF), and the American Geological Institute (PDF), all urging the board to adopt the textbooks under consideration.

Also urging the board to adopt the textbooks was the Texas Freedom Network, which submitted a petition signed by 25,000 Texans. TFN is also organizing a "thunderclap" — a simultaneous on-line demonstration via Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr — for November 21, 2013. The board is expected to make its decision on the textbooks by November 22, 2013.