Ohio's antiscience bill unimproved

Ohio's House Bill 597 is still a threat to the integrity of science education in the Buckeye State, NCSE's Glenn Branch told Ohio Public Radio (September 8, 2014). 

As NCSE previously reported, a provision requiring the state's science standards to "prohibit political or religious interpretation of scientific facts in favor of another" was removed by the House Rules and Reference Committee, only to be replaced by a provision requiring students to "review, in an objective manner, the scientific strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories."

Such "strengths and weaknesses" language, Branch explained, is invariably selectively applied to evolution, climate change, and similarly socially — but not scientifically — controversial topics. "You're surely not going to see the scientific strengths and weaknesses of osmosis or photosynthesis being presented under the provision of the bill should it pass," he commented.

As for the status of HB 597, Ohio Public Radio reported, "The bill is still in a House committee — no word yet on when a vote could be scheduled."