Monday, February 16, 2009

Louisiana says science not welcome; Scientists say Okay

The president of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology recently sent a very polite letter to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal informing him they will not be holding their 2011 annual meeting (or any others) in New Orleans.

This decision was in response to the passage of Louisiana's Science Education Act. The Science Education Act is actually a direct attack on evolution that was heavily pushed by the Discovery Institute.

Louisiana Coalition for Science issued a press release with all the information, and a pdf of the letter sent to the governor.

For those who don't think this is a big threat, SCIB has more than 2300 members and its 2009 meeting that just ended in Boston brought over 1850 scientists and graduate students to that city for 5 days. A nice boost to any local economy.

In March the National Science Teacher's Association will be holding their 2009 annual conference in New Orleans, and while I understand it is too late to change the venue for that, it would be nice if in the future they followed suit and also boycotted states that attack science education.

As much as I love the city of New Orleans, and as much as it desperately needs money right now, I am in full support of the SICB decision to boycott the state. If they are going to trash science for political gain the scientific community should refuse to help subsidize their budgets.

So kudos SICB. If they spit in your face, kick 'em in the wallet.

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