Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Let's talk about evolution

I think scientists do a disservice to our peers, our children and our society if we choose to focus solely on research, and do not disseminate our findings in accessible language to the public.

Along this line, that has been a lot of talk in our lab about making short videos describing our current research projects. Some are in progress, and will hopefully be posted here soon. In addition, a group of Nielsen lab postdocs are developing short, interactive lessons about evolution including population genetics, comparative genomics, and forensics that we plan to present to Berkeley Area High School students in the Spring. In the meantime, I thought I'd plant the video-blog bug in your mind with this discussion of what evolution is, why it is important, and why it should be taught in school.

It is a compilation of several submitted videos, and although it is a little long, I think there are many great ideas to get out to the general public. One statement from the video really struck home with me, summarizing the integral nature of teaching evolution:

"To teach science without evolution is kind of like teaching sentence structure without the alphabet."

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