NCSE is pleased to announce three new additions to its Advisory Council, reflecting the addition of climate education to NCSE's area of concern: James E. Hansen, Michael MacCracken, and Bill McKibben. "NCSE has long relied on a select group of distinguished scientists, scholars, and educators to aid its efforts to defend the teaching of evolution," explained NCSE's executive director Eugenie C. Scott. "Now that we're defending the teaching of climate change as well, we needed to expand the scope of our Advisory Council. And we couldn't have found a more stellar group of advisors!"
- Hansen, who recently retired from the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, is a member of the National Academy of Sciences; the recipient of numerous awards, including the Carl-Gustaf Rossby and Roger Revelle Research Medals, the Sophie Prize, and the Blue Planet Prize; and the author of Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity (Bloomsbury, 2009).
- MacCracken, Chief Scientist for Climate Change Programs with the Climate Institute, is a former executive director of the U.S. Global Change Research Program's National Assessment Coordination Office, a former president of the International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences, and a co-lead author of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development's report Confronting Climate Change: Avoiding the Unmanageable and Managing the Unavoidable.
- McKibben is the founder and chair of the board of the international climate change campaign 350.org, the recipient of numerous awards, fellowships, and honorary degrees; the author of The End of Nature (Random House, 1989) — generally acknowledged as the first book to explain global warming to the general public — and Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet (Times Books, 2010); and the editor of The Global Warming Reader (Penguin, 2012).
Asked why the fight for climate change education is important, McKibben replied, "This is the largest thing humans have ever done; it's important that we understand what it is we're doing, hopefully while we still have time to slow it down." Scott added, "Teaching about the science of climate change, both in formal and informal education, is absolutely necessary in order for future citizens to be able to make scientifically informed decisions about the consequences of climate change. With the help of our new advisors, NCSE plans to be at the forefront of the fight to ensure that climate change is indeed taught."