Judge John E. Jones III, who presided over Kitzmiller v. Dover, the 2005 case establishing the unconstitutionality of teaching "intelligent design" creationism in the public schools, will receive the Geological Society of America's President's Medal for 2009, according to a September 28, 2009, press release from the GSA. "It is particularly fitting that Judge Jones receive this medal in 2009, the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Darwin, whose work forms the basis of modern evolutionary theory," said Judith Totman Parrish, the past president of GSA. She added, "Using thorough analysis of the law, in-depth analysis of the history and origin of intelligent design theory and acute powers of reasoning, Judge Jones'[s] opinion decisively laid to rest the notion that intelligent design should be taught in science classes, alongside evolution, as an alternative theory to the evolution of life."
Jones will receive his award on October 17, 2009, during the GSA's annual meeting in Portland, Oregon. Two days later, he will participate in a five-member panel discussion there on "Overcoming Resistance to the Reality of Evolutionary Change in Nature," part of a day-long 200th birthday celebration of Charles Darwin held in conjunction with the meeting. Also participating will be Kevin Padian, Professor of Integrative Biology and Curator, Museum of Paleontology, University of California, Berkeley, and president of NCSE's board of directors; Jeremy Jackson, Director, Center for Marine Biodiversity & Conservation, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Randy Olson, the filmmaker behind Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus; and Ray Troll, fish artist extraordinaire and coauthor of Cruisin' the Fossil Freeway (Fulcrum, 2007).