NCSE's executive director Eugenie C. Scott is to be the first recipient of the Stephen Jay Gould Prize, awarded annually by the Society for the Study of Evolution "to recognize individuals whose sustained and exemplary efforts have advanced public understanding of evolutionary science and its importance in biology, education, and everyday life in the spirit of Stephen Jay Gould." According to the citation:
As the executive director of the National Center for Science Education she has been in the forefront of battles to ensure that public education clearly distinguishes science from non-science and that the principles of evolution are taught in all biology courses. ... In these efforts, she has been an important leader in the public sphere, molding and focusing the efforts of scientists, educators, lay people, religious groups, skeptics, agnostics, believers, scholars, and ordinary citizens through firm but gentle guidance. ... Dr. Scott is a gifted communicator and public intellectual. She is a frequent guest on radio and television shows, and an eloquent spokeswoman for science. Her writings have illuminated the process of science to thousands, and her books have exposed the efforts of many groups in our society to hobble and undermine the teaching of science to our younger generation. The organization she helped create far transcends the considerable reach of her own voice, vastly amplifying her impact on public understanding. For these many reasons, it is extremely appropriate that Dr. Scott be the first recipient of the Gould Prize.She will receive the award at the Evolution 2009 conference, held June 12-16, 2009, at the University of Idaho, where she will present a public lecture, entitled "The Public Understanding of Evolution and the KISS Principle," at 8:00 p.m. on June 12; the lecture will be recorded and presented on-line as streaming video later in the week.