About: AAAS Awards
2006 Award Recipients
AAAS Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility
Eugenie Scott, the Dover High School Science Department, and R. Wesley McCoy
These dedicated individuals are honored for their determination to defend sound education in U.S. public schools by vigorously challenging attempts to introduce intelligent design into science classes.
Since 1986, Eugenie Scott has directed the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). The organization, established to defeat efforts of creationists and intelligent design advocates to apply religious ideology of creation to U.S. public school curricula, has become a nationally recognize source of assistance and information for those seeking help in opposing efforts to undermine science education.
As director of the NCSE, Scott oversees publication production, project supervision, media relations, and fundraising for the organization. She is affiliated with many organizations and has contributed to numerous publications on the subject of teaching evolution. Before joining NCSE, she worked as an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Colorado. She received her Ph.D. degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1974.
R. Wesley McCoy
R. Wesley McCoy is an award-winning science teacher and chair of the science department at North Cobb High School, Kennesaw, GA. In opposition to the actions of the Cobb County School Board to introduce intelligent design theory in public schools, Dr. McCoy has testified at public hearings and in federal court, and has supported the adoption of strong science education standards for the state of Georgia. Dr. McCoy engaged in numerous activities to raise understanding among the religious community concerning the nature of the controversy and the importance of maintaining integrity in science education.
Dr. McCoy serves as vice-chair of Georgia Citizens for Integrity in Science Education and is a member of the board of directors of the Presbyterian Association on Science, Technology, and the Christian Faith. He was awarded Outstanding Biology Teacher for Georgia, the National Evolution Education Award and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching. He received his Ph.D. degree from Georgia State University.
Dover High School Science Department
front row (left to right)
Bertha Spahr(Department Chair), Leslie Prall, Jennifer Miller
back row (left to right)
David Taylor, Robert Linker, Brian Bahn, Robert Eshbach
The teachers comprising the Dover High School Science Department denounced the Dover, Pennsylvania's school board's claim to challenge students to think critically about alternative scientific explanations. Compliance would have required teachers to read a statement to their ninth grade biology classes that reads in part: "[Evolution] theory is not a fact. Intelligent design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin's view." Dover High School's science department purported that the school board's attempt was to introduce religious, not scientific thinking into high school biology classes. In reply, they wrote in a letter to the school superintendent stating, "Intelligent design is not science, intelligent design is not biology."