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Playing Politics with ScienceBalancing Scientific Independence and Government Oversight$
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David B. Resnik

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195375893

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195375893.001.0001

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Science Education

Science Education

(p.183) 8 Science Education
Playing Politics with Science

David B. Resnik (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter gives some background to the debate about teaching evolution in public schools and discusses some key legal cases. It examines political versus scientific control over science education, arguing that the government should have oversight over science education but that it should not micromanage the science curriculum. One implication of this view is that the laypeople and politicians should not decide whether science teachers should teach evolution in K‐12 public schools. Rather, this decision should be left to scientists and science educators. Though the government can teach values in public schools, these values should be taught in classes that are oriented toward humanistic education, such as language arts, social studies, history, and the fine arts.

Keywords:   science, evolution, public schools, legal cases, science education

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