NCSE's executive director Eugenie C. Scott received an honorary degree from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, on December 17, 2006, in recognition of her dedication to promoting the sound teaching of science in schools across the country. The citation read in part:
The honor was especially meaningful to Scott, who earned her B.S. and M.S. degrees at the university. The honorary degree was Scott's fourth; she received honorary Doctor of Science degrees from McGill University in 2003, the Ohio State University in 2005, and Mount Holyoke College in May 2006.
Dr. Scott was named the first executive director of the National Center for Science Education in 1986. Since then, she has worked with educators, parents, scientists, clergy, school boards and other elected officials, and concerned citizens to keep evolution in public school science education.
Under her leadership, the center has pursued this goal by providing information that it hopes will lead to community consensus rather than confrontation. Particularly important in NCSE's success has been the building of coalitions of scientists, teachers, clergy and concerned parents to support the teaching of evolution in communities and states.
Her 2004 book, Evolution vs. Creationism: An Introduction, was reviewed positively by publications as diverse as The New York Times Book Review and Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith. It was praised by creationists and evolutionists alike for its even-handedness and accuracy in presenting the controversy.
Her work reflects her perspective that science teachers should teach students accurate and accepted science as it is understood by scientists, and that political pressure should not determine the science curriculum. Her work also reflects her conviction that citizens need to be scientifically literate, and that an understanding of evolution is central to this literacy. To this end she has labored for 20 years at NCSE to promote a better public understanding of science and of the science of evolution.